I often find myself trying to provide my youngest son with the same opportunities and interactions that his older brother had, but the fact remains that I can not do the same things I did with one child, now that I have two so close in age. My oldest son attended Sign Language class, Swimming class, Music class and a variety of other baby/toddler classes and events in the city. My husband and I even enrolled our oldest, "T" in a neighborhood co-op group where he met some of his "best buddies". The group met twice a week from 3-6pm in a private home in the neighborhood with a dedicated "school" space for three separate co-op groups. We joined the "school" after it had already been formed, so we were not a part of the teacher interview/hiring process. Initially, we met the parents and spent some time in the setting allowing "T", the other children and the teacher to become friendly with each other. Luckily, "T" had never really been a clingy child and had no separation anxiety when it was time for mommy or daddy to leave. He became an integral part of the group, even though he was one of the youngest of the 8 children. I enjoyed meeting parents who shared my educational philosophy and loved becoming a part of the preschool co-op family. The cost for the co-op included the rent for the space, teacher salary and supplies plus each family was expected to volunteer to help the teacher prep and clean up. When compared to similar programs, the price was exponentially lower and "we" the parents were mostly in charge. I wholeheartedly accepted the role and even joined a committee to mentor the teacher. All in all, it was an amazing experience but about two months before the end of the school year, trouble hit. At the whole school meetings, attended by all three groups, people began to complain about the teachers' style and question some of her choices. To me, the complaints seemed frivolous and silly and it became apparent that "we" did not share the same educational ideals for our children (and how could you with such a large disconnected group). One of the three groups decided to "fire" the teacher without consulting the other two groups and about a month later the second group followed their lead. Our group was the only group who kept the teacher on and worked with her in order to allow our children the opportunity to finish what they had started together. We, as parents were extremely upset and appalled by the behavior of the other two groups, especially because it directly affected us: it seemed as if the "co-op" model was broken and the groups obviously did not communicate or cooperate. Our group decided to leave the space for the last month of school and host at each other's houses due to the unprofessionalism shown by the parents in the other groups. I believe that "T" has gained some great friends as a direct result of being a part of the co-op and we have befriended some amazing parents but I am not sure if I would like to revisit the co-op idea now that "A" is almost at that age. To Co-op or Not to Co-Op...What is your Preschool Co-op Experience?
I recently celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary with my best friend...whom I married. We have had our UPs and DOWNs and things could always be better or worse, but I have to admit that I am happy with my choice and absolutely enjoy being his wife. He has allowed me to be myself and explore my interests while all the while supporting and motivating me. We have two beautiful boys whom we adore and are raising the way I have always dreamed of raising my children. He has really made my dreams come true: we have grown as a couple and family. I appreciate him and everything he does for me & our family. Thank you for the past 4 unforgettable years, Mr. Thirtymommy! What is your most memorable moment from your marriage thus far?
Lately, I have really been reflecting on the past year and how much my boys have grown and developed their own amazing personalities. I find myself looking through tons of pictures on my phone, iPad and laptop trying to remember the moments the pictures were taken with no luck. I often find myself purchasing and dressing my boys in similar themed/color outfits. Not sure why that is: maybe because my mom dressed my sister I like that or maybe so I can pick out my LOs in a crowd. Do you dress your children similarly?
As the mother of two boys, I often find myself comparing my little ones. I compare their size, personalities, accomplishments and milestones. They really are completely different little people and I am amazed watching them develop. How do you compare your kids?
Just when I think I've got this Mommy thing down...a new issue arises. My just turned 1 year old, "A" has decided that he doesn't want milk. He has been drinking whole milk since he turned 1 a few months ago with no incident. Recently (within the past 2 weeks) he has decided that he wants nothing to do with milk of any kind. We have tried 1%, 2%, almond milk, soy milk, rice milk and toddler formula: he refuses everything after a look or sip. Currently he has been drinking lots of water and a serving of juice daily and loves drinking Lifeway Kefir Probugs drinks & Happy Baby Coco drinks. I am worried about him getting the Calcium, Vitamin D and potassium he needs. I am open to suggestions. How does your toddler like their milk?
This past weekend we were overbooked with events: NY Wine Expo (for mommy), blogger event (for mommy), violin classes, birthday party and the Kids Food Festival. By the time Sunday evening came around, we were all totally exhausted. I really enjoy being on the go with my family in tow where we are exploring and making memories. We attended a friend's birthday party where it was all about the knights, dragons and princesses. "T"'s preschool coop friend was turning 4 years old and he was super excited to go to the party. As soon as we got there, he was greeted and knighted with a foam sword, knight hat and cardboard shield. "T" was ready to slay imaginary dragons, protect the castle and save the princesses, so he jumped right into the imaginative play with the other party attendees. Soon, my mommy trained ears heard "T" explaining to some of the children that he "did not like being hit in the face" and he asked them to stop: I inched closer to the group, ready to intervene if it got out of hand but I am so proud that my little guy stood up for himself using his words instead of being aggressive. I have always worried about him being pushed around as he isn't really a physical rough and tumble type: he prefers hugs and holding hands with his friends. How do your little ones stand up for themselves?
It's the end of February and I am having a hard time keeping my New Year promises to myself. I had decided that I would exercise at least twice a week and schedule "me" time daily. With the demanding schedules of a now SAHM and active social parent, I often find it hard to arrange time for myself. This week, I decided to visit our local YMCA where we are members. There was an Open Gym play and Family Art available at no additional cost to members: we had a great time and the boys got some of their energy out. Our branch offers complimentary childcare (up to 2 hours daily), so I signed the boys up and I was able to complete an hour of cardio, mostly uniterrupted. After my workout, I was energized and motivated that I had found a schedule that could work for me and my boys, so I signed up for childcare next week too! It takes some time and energy to find things that work for you but stick to it and something will work. Now to find a place that has childcare where I can also get my hair/nails done! How do you make "me" time?
Yesterday, I attended an event hosted by The Parenting Aspect Network where Momyfactor was the featured panelist discussing how to "Transition into a Social Parent". The event was held at the Scholastic Store in Soho and delicious snacks were on hand thanks to PretzelCrisps. The event was attended by local bloggers and influencers and was super informative. We sat around the round table (the red rectangular table) and were given a background and introduction to The Parenting Aspect Newtork, whose goal is to create meaningful personalized relathionships between brands and parent influencers. Then, Onica from the Mommy Factor gave an abridged account of her blogging career up to this point as well as her short term and long term goals. She described her reasons to start a blog and how her needs, wants, interests have changed/grown over time. Onica's passion for being a social parent was contagious and she shared her gems of wisdom and priceless advice with us. She explained how important it is to create/shape your personal brand, accept constructive advice and maintain a well rounded/active social presence. We are more than just "mommy bloggers"; we are social parents and parent influencers who have real experiences, opinions and resources for women/parents and brands. Who influences you?
Quality couple time is essential...especially when running after two toddlers as well as maintaing a semi-organized household. Today, after a normal hectic day of homepreschooling, nap refusals, dinnertime, bath time, violin practice and dealing with a cranky, stuffy, teething baby: my husband and I were able to take a breath and enjoy some much needed time together. After the children were tucked in all clean and stories read; we sat on the couch and decided to play Monopoly on the Xbox. We put our feet up and enjoyed the game...trashtalking and all. We so often take for granted something as simple as playing games together, having conversations and truly enjoying each others' company and the reasons/feelings behind our relationships. Remember to take time to appreciate each other and continue to replenish your relationship with new adventures!
I was all set to write about "T"'s first violin concert and I usually post the picture first, then begin to write. But, tonight as I attempted to select the picture,somehow I selected the photo of the flower below taken by my dad, who passed away about a year and a half ago. This picture was taken in Freeport, Bahamas where my father lived and it was a bright Sunday morning and we (my husband, baby "T" and I) were just leaving church with him and he just stopped to snap a picture of a random flower. This picture reminds me to step back, slow down and take time to smell the flowers and enjoy my time with my friends & family! Making memories is all about appreciating and celebrating the simple things!
Life is short: slow down and savor it!