Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

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Whoever said parenthood was easy, was never a parent

January 29, 2012

baby pictureNoone says this, right? I mean, they can’t. Or at least, I can’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys more than anything. They are amazing and I adore being their mom. Honestly, I’m happy to take care of their needs, but it does get frustrating. Sometimes you just feel like you are failing at parenting (I said this on Facebook and many friends rallied to my side. You guys are the best and yes, I do know it isn’t really true)

I’m a great and mostly patient parent. Just not when they’re sleeping.. or should I say, when they’re NOT sleeping. You see my children? They don’t sleep. My oldest? only started sleeping through the night when he was 4 years old. Even now he still wakes about once a week. And the baby? He’s up every 2 hours. Sometimes more. Naps range from 20 minutes to 2 hours (rare) but mostly they are 30-60 minutes 2-3 times a day. Frankly, he just resists sleep.

Oh I’m not at this point yet, and hope I never will be. But believe me, it takes a toll on you.

I’m not looking for advice about how to get him to sleep. We’ve tried many of your tried and true techniques. We’ve seen the doctor and have tried his advice as well. We’re still not sleeping. Luckily, I have an equal parenting partner in my husband, so we are able to trade off, but what we’d really like is for our baby to sleep.

What I am talking about is the fact that parenting is hard. The rewards are great and I’ll look back at this time and say “oh man… remember when the baby didn’t sleep?? Good times.” and we’ll have a little laugh. I know that this too shall pass. But that doesn’t make it less hard right now.

Sleep has been “that thing” for us. For some other people I know, its eating. Lets not hide the hard things.. because even though we should leave the advice giving to the experts, we can at least get some sympathy and some help. Someone to take the baby for a few hours for a nap or when parents just need a break. Open yourself up for some help and it might be there, instead of pretending everything is sunshine and roses, let the world know that sometimes a little shit is part of growing.

What was “that thing” for you?

And really.. does everyone, like me, always end up reading the archives of Ask Moxie?

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We believe in fairies

December 5, 2011

One of the best pieces of advice I was given upon learning we were going to have a second child was to be sure I put aside some special time with my first born. So when an opportunity to see Peter Pan in Boston came about… well, it was a no-brainer.

As excited as he was, I was a little apprehensive. Sometimes he scares easily. But I had heard the show was amazing and I had a feeling he would love it.

So we boarded the blue line which would take us right to where the performance was taking place in City Hall plaza.

We picked up our tickets and headed inside. Despite a small ticket glitch (I was not actually seated with my 5yo son, my seat was actually 15 seats and one row away. We are thankful for the kind people sitting next to us and the owner of four tickets in the row below us who did not show up), we took our seats in anticipation of a great production.

The show did not disappoint. We were treated to a spectacular presentation of the story of Peter Pan like I have never seen before.

The flying was exhilarating. We both had goosebumps. The look on my son’s face told me I made the right decision to bring him. He was spellbound. There was only one slightly scary moment when the pirates first appeared, but he got through it quickly and was not afraid of the pirates after that. In fact, one of his favorite scenes was a fighting scene between Captain Hook and Peter Pan. It was artistic, and was tastefully done in a slow motion, seemingly non-violent nature. Perfect for children.

The puppetry was spectacular. Nana the dog and TickTock were beautiful and well maneuvered. They were made out of blankets and old clothes and flowed exactly the way your imagination would, well… imagine.

I think that both us had a favorite though.. and it was clearly Tinker Bell. She was ballsy and mouthy, hilarious and punk rock. We loved her.

While the show says the recommended age was 5 and up, I saw many younger children there who were clearly enjoying the show. It is a magnificent production.

The clincher? Meeting Peter Pan and Wendy Darling after the show. Alex was Hooked… so to speak.

For more information about the ThreeSixty CGI experience.. go HERE.

Performances run through December 31st and range in price from $35-$125. Ticketing and more information can be found HERE.

See other rave reviews HERE.

If you can.. See this show. It was a thrill for children and adults alike.

Although we received complimentary tickets to this show, I was not asked to write a favorable review. This review is purely my own and I received no other compensation.
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But what do we tell the children? 9/11 thoughts from an eyewitness

September 9, 2011

We all have moments of time in which our lives took a dramatic turn. A wedding, a birth (or several), a death.

For me one of those moments was 9/11/2001

The impact that day had on my life and the chain of events it spawned is not illuminated in that post, but they are bright in my mind. I left New York City within 6 months of the attacks. My childhood home, my adult playground, NYC will forever be in my soul, my heart but I had to leave after that. I realized after that day that I was not my career, which I had been chasing for years, my passion, the music industry. I loved it, I adored it, but there was one thing more important and I just didn’t realize it until after that day.

Me. Happiness. Love. Life. and now I’ll add to that, My Family

So 6 months later I packed up my Brooklyn apartment and moved to Boston to be with my then boyfriend. now husband (See! It worked out!).

But right now this isn’t about me so that story will have to be for another time.

With my oldest child starting kindergarten this coming Monday, it occurred to me.. How are they teaching our children about 9/11?

My first thought was about how do I explain this tragic event without overflowing with emotion about my own fear and panic and scaring my child. Followed immediately by – He should know I was there and that ‘history’ happens all around us as life unfolds and we should be aware and grateful for every moment.

Well clearly THAT is too heavy for a kindergartner. *SIGH*

I reached out through my channels to ask the teachers that I was connected to this very question. I received a wide variety of answers and resources.

Several friends and teachers mentioned that there were workshops that have taken place in the last month (some this weekend) that are helping teachers develop their own programs for discussing 9/11 with middle and high school students. I know that there are programs for younger kids, but the teachers I spoke with were specifically teaching in this age bracket. From what I can tell (and I’d be happy if you all had better information than I do!), this education happens more in the later years (which makes sense based on maturity levels).

Then I became interested in materials that were being used and thought they would make great tools for parents to help talk to their own kids about this day.

A few pointed me to the US Department of Education site. Sadly I found this resource lacking in substance with the exception of one beaming light called Voices for Peace – Nonviolent Strategies for Change. WOW this program look like an amazing teaching opportunity, but that might be (definitely is) the Human Rights activist buried deep (OK, not so deep) inside me.

I’ll be brief about this because the lessons are wider rather than 9/11 incident specific but I feel it is an important resource and information to teach our children. From their site:

Voices for Peace was developed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The site provides a collection of resources for exploring alternatives to violence for promoting political change.

They include a teachers guide as well as a section called Strategies for Change which includes information and examples about change through the Arts, Change Through Cross-Community Work, Change Through Education and more. If these are the types of values you want to teach your children, and I do, the resources here are fantastic for parents as well as teachers.

This might not specifically be about teaching 9/11 education, but I do think it is relevant to teaching children that there are other ways besides attacking innocent people to express anger.

Moving on.. yes.. 9/11

US DOE Site also leads you to other places where more materials can be found. It lead me to a site organized by the Smithsonian National Museum of American history called – September 11: Teaching Contemporary History. These online recorded conferences are free and available now. I also love that on their description page for the programs it outlines the audience this material is meant for, middle school age, High school, elementary and even mentioning parents specifically in one.

From their site:

On Wednesday, August 3 and Thursday, August 4, 2011, the National Museum of American History, National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Pentagon Memorial Fund, and Flight 93 National Memorial, offered a FREE online conference, September 11: Teaching Contemporary History, for K-12 teachers. Designed to provide educators with resources and strategies for addressing the September 11 terrorist attacks, the conference included roundtable discussions with content experts and six workshop sessions. These sessions — all of which were recorded and are now available — highlight resources available at each organization, provide background information on September 11, and encourage conversations on how to document, preserve, and interpret recent history and current events.

Once again.. these resources are mostly meant for teachers, but parents will greatly benefit from these resources as well. This one might very well be my favorite of the bunch.

Finally, for more resources, check out teachinghistory.org’s page about 9/11 for even more teaching tools and information.

Do you have resources you are already using? Ideas for discussion with young children about tragedy? Let me know, I’d love to have them in my arsenal.

As for us? We are going to hold off for now. But I am making myself ready for these conversations, I will keep my ears open for the curiosity and questioning of my own children to lead the way in to this discussion, or will introduce my own story when they start learning about it in school.

Maybe I’m selfish or naive or both.. but I want my 5 year old to stay innocent about these things just a little bit longer.

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Welcome baby Eli

August 11, 2011

Our big boy. 8 pounds 13 ounces of all boy. Arrived 8/8/11

20110811-053707.jpg

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And the sex of the baby is…

March 18, 2011

A BOY

Alex was with us when we found out and he also correctly predicted what the baby would be! Very exciting.

Now the hardest part of all… What are we going to name this kid????

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I bet you have been wondering…

March 15, 2011

or have you been wandering?

I can’t believe it has been a month since I posted. The truth is, I have been so sick this pregnancy that I just didn’t want to post the “Hi! I’m vomiting every day!” posts. It just didn’t seem like something you would want to read.

So let me catch you up..

I have been very sick. I never had this with Alex, so it was new to me. And although I can only take Tylenol for pain, I’ve been prescribed chemotherapy medication for the sickness. Weird, but ok, it really does work. Problem is, I hate taking it. So I stop and I get sick.. it has really just been like THAT.

But hey.. I said I wouldn’t really write about “the sick”, so lets move on.

Last night Alex cracked his head open in the shower. Slipped and fell head first into the bottom of the tub. Split his head open just over his eye and it was gushing blood. Yup.. off to the ER.

What? You want me to go back to talking about “the sick”?

Anyway.. it was traumatic.. for all of us. He is fine. Five stitches, home with momma the next day and we are moving on. Stitches come out on Monday.

But the BIG news? The news you are all waiting for? THAT comes this Friday (we hope) with our level II anatomy scan. We hope to find out, and reveal the flavor of baby we are having.

I promise.. I will let you know.

With that said.. lets get the guesses going. Am I having a Boy? A Girl? I’m taking bets people!

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The bittersweetness of expecting #2

February 14, 2011

AlexMy son. My first born.

How I have watched him grow. How I try to hold on to every piece of little boy I can.

Sometimes when we cuddle on the couch.. his little body snug against me, saying “Mommy, I love you”. Often he sings songs to me peppered with phrases about how much he loves me.. his mommy, the love of his life. A tear will spring to my eye. How much more of this will I get? I don’t want it to end. He will always be my baby. Always.

Does bringing in a second child mean I wont have this special time with him anymore? Will he feel neglected? Will I feel like I’m not giving him enough of what he needs?

I know that one thing I will be trying to do will be date night (or day) with him. I want to make sure he gets one-on-one time with me. I know he’ll want it, need it. And so will I.

We are all excited about bringing this new child in to the world, including Alex. We are beyond thrilled to give Alex a sibling and he is equally excited to have one. But I am trying to savor every last moment I have with my one sweet child. My baby who is growing up to be a wonderful little boy who is thoughtful and friendly. Who will excel in kindergarten when he starts in the fall both socially and academically.

But I worry that I wont do it right. That the transitions that will happen in the August-September time frame, new baby, new school for Alex… will be a bumpy ride.

What other tactics are you using to make sure your children get the one-on-one attention they desire? What is your best advice about going from one to two children?

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