Friday, June 8, 2012

The Treacherous Threes!  For everyone.  It has been tantrum city around our house for the past few weeks.  Two definitely had it's moments for us, but it was nothing compared to this age they call "3".  I feel that parents are sorely mislead.  It seems that everyone talks up the "terrible twos", in fact, it even has it's own title.  Why is three never mentioned?

At three, many children have the abilitly to focus on a task for longer periods of time = tantrums that last for at least (seemingly) 90+ minutes.

At three, many children are more verbal and comprehensive = LOTS of talking back.  Some of my favorites:  "It's not FAIR to wear a blue shirt!" or, "I DON'T WANT TO EAT MY YOGURT WITH A SPOON!"  and,  "I don't want the bubbles to melt...WHAAAAAAAA" (in the bath).

  how is it possible to be sad over chocolate ice cream? ....from the ice cream truck???? 

All of these have fairly easy solutions, change shirts, try yogurt with a fork or as a fruit dip, add some more bubbles to the bath....  We can't even get to the solution part though.  Before I can even ask or talk about how we can resolve the problem there is a screaming, kicking tantrum.  AGGGGGGHHHHHHH!   Once the tantrum starts, forget it.  It's OVER (the peace in our house I mean).   I try to think of and be sympathetic to how he must feel when he is in the midst of this all out fit, and I try to be as patient and loving as I can, but also firm.  Sometimes, there is no solution, every suggestion is wrong.  Every suggestion results in a new wave of angry tears.   Sometimes it is down right funny, sometimes it is downright draining. (A lot of the time it is down right draining).  Sometimes the only solution around here is to let him cry until he is done.  Then, just as if I never gave him a spoon, all is well and he is laughing and hugging.

**Three is no where near 21 so we are outlawing the use of whine.  When *whine occurs, mommy needs lots of extra *wine.  The amount yesterday would have put me in a stupor for a week straight.
 My conclusion:  Tantrums topped with wanting to be naked constantly are starting to wear us down just slightly...

Calling all was three for your child and how did you survive?????

Friday, June 1, 2012

Johnson's Farm

Last weekend, (I know I am still a little behind) my friend Gail and I took the kids to Johnson's Farm for the day.  If you live in the South Jersey Area and you have never been, then I do believe that you are really missing out.  Even though it is a VERY commercialized farm (and a little pricey) it is totally worth it to go and check it out.  There is SO MUCH for the kiddies and adults a like.  Playground, animal feeding barnyard, splash pad, beach sandbox, discovery barnyard and play area, hayride, any kind of "picking" you can imagine (we picked strawberries) and a wonderful fresh farm store that features anything from the farm and beyond that you heart desires.  We easily spend a few hours enjoying all of the fun and then had a delicious lunch before Bella was ready to nap!

First the hayride, where one certain kid just couldn't leave the hay alone, and got Mommy yelled at by the tractor driver...(well more like scolded).

 Hey! I have hay on me!

We got off of the hayride (THANK GOODNESS) to pick some of the most delicious red plump sun warmed strawberries.  They were so good, more eating was done by me some than picking.

 An inherited love of strawberry snacking

After a ride back to the farm Jackson found a cool spot in a pile of sandy dirt to keep himself occupied while I paid for our strawberries.

So obviously clean up was the next logical thing to do which ended up being great fun for two kids who could easily reach the sinks.

By the time we got to the play area, the sun was blaring and my toddler was running so my camera took a break. 

Finally we cooled off with some fun at the splash pad and little shopping from the farm market for lunch.

All in all, a perfect way to spend a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon!  Thanks to Aunt Gail for being amazing and suggesting this awesome outing!  We certainly will be heading there again soon!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gone Fishin' For Mother's Day

On Sunday we ventured out to church and then for a special treat, we hit up the Treehouse Coffee shop for some yummy mother's day chow.  It seemed that every place serving breakfast was PACKED with the influx of mom's and their broods trying to enjoy enjoying a little pampering amidst the wiping of hands, faces, butts..., but no matter, we were able to claim a huge overstuffed couch that we happily lounged on.  We love the Treehouse and don't get there nearly as often as we would like; they feature organic coffee and light fare that includes vegan and gluten free treats, YUM!

After we got home we relaxed for awhile before Uncle A.J. and Aunt Maggie came over.  As the day went on somehow it was decided that we should take Jackson on his first fishing trip.  Jackson had received a fishing pole for his birthday and Frank was anxious to use it!  After to trip to the sporting goods store for some fishing essentials, license, and a new pole for daddy (it turned into a more costly trip then we had anticipated) we were ready to hit the great out doors (pond in a little wooded area about a mile or so from our house). 

And, the fishing began......for about 15 minutes......

 putting the "worm" on

Uncle A.J. the fishing expert and coach

"Fishing with my dad"

unfortunatly only Aunt Maggie caught something....

I know I say it often, but I am so thankful that this little guy is why I am a Mama!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you fabulous Mama's out there....especially my own Mom and my fabulous Mother-in-law!  I love you! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mustache Bandwagon

Ok, ok.  So we have, I guess (not really) jumped on the mustache bandwagon.  Made popular by pinterest and etsy but, in my opinion this trend was totally started by my friend and fellow blogger (much better than I, I might add) Lauren

As painting goes, we do get pretty creative making rocketship and spider tatoos on our arms and legs, but when Jackson asked for a mustache, I couldn't resist!

 Happy Mustache Man

Stoic Mustache Man

Confused Mustache Man

Potty-Trained Mustache Man

Thank goodness this happened before he was able to grow a 'stache! favorite.....Sneaky Mustache Man

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Back To The Blogging Board

Well here I am!  I am back!  (I hope).  Life has a very funny way of getting in the way of....well, life.  Upon logging back into 'ye olde long lost blogger', I realized a lot has changed.  So now, here I am, to navigate new templates and settings to get back to the part of 'life' that satisfies me and makes me feel like I have accomplished something.

It's funny how it's like that, but it is.  I have been working non-stop on trying to build a choral program at the high school, vocal directing a musical, preparing and rehearsing for and then performing at the Kimmel Center, managing a household, oh yeah and....raising a child....can't forget about that...  All of these things are very fulfilling, and of course accomplishments, and yet also very demanding.  I feel like I have worked and worked...and worked, and in the process lost a little piece of me.  Well here I am!  Back to claim what is rightfully mine.    Back to blogging and photography and gardening and cooking and taking sometime for myself and my family.

Here is what we've been up to since Christmas...

 Jackson turned 3!!!!!!

 You believe it????  THREE!!!!

and got a flashlight for his birthday...Daddy's bright idea...

 Two Casts for Into the Woods and Kimmel Center Concert

Spent Easter at the zoo (pre first hair cut)

Hockey Mullet in full effect

stunning parrot

First (real) hair cut

Post hair cut - happy child

bubbles and chalk

Bring it on life.  I am ready for you....BRING IT ON! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Christmas, Alabama Style

Wow.  It is February.  I am a mess.  I am now posting about Christmas.  Before it escapes my mind forever..........

Alabama (fondly referred  to as Alavama) or bust.  We headed to right outside of Fort Benning GA, where my favorite Brother-in-law is stationed, to the tiny little southern town of....honestly I can't even remember the name....  Anyway, my sister-in-law Lauren, who is absolutely one of my very favorite people in the world, lives there with my beautiful nephews, fantastic Hubby and two dogs (one is a puppy!).   Even though the drive was longer than I would like to remember (we actually made it there and back with minimal tears and a boy who slept the better part of both ways! Lucky us!) it was SO good to see our awesome family.  We spent Christmas week with the Gables and just relaxed....and laughed....a lot.  It was exactly what we needed and who we needed to do it with.  Tristan and Jackson had such a great time together.  It was amazing to me how they bonded instantly and were best buddies.

Best buddies who jumped and taught each other how to climb in and out of cribs....

They of course, among being the best of buddies, were at times the worst of enemies.   What do you expect from a couple of 2+ year olds?

He did, took and said xyz to (from) me!

Whaaaaaaaaahhhh (the preferred form of toddler communication)

Most of the time though, they were best buddies.  Playing and coexisting together, thrilled to have each other.  Cousins at their best.

Two wonderful little boys (who mostly refuse to look at the camera) who are the light of our lives.  Oh yeah this one too....Sweet, sweet Sam.

 Don't believe anything my Mom or Dad says....I am a perfect baby!

Maybe it is just my presence (he he) but while I was there (at least in the room with this precious little guy) he did not make a peep.  He was honestly perfect!  Love, love, love this little bundle!

Cousinly Love

We took a couple of nearby excursions, both of which I can laugh about now but at the time were, for their own reasons, horrendous.... In just a few words, wind whipping, frost bite inducing, frigid air that literally came out of nowhere, and way to sunny to get a good picture - but oh s**t my memory card is full of (the crappiest I have ever taken in my life) pictures anyway.  You guess which is which...

Before I dump the rest of my (hilariously horribly taken) pictures on you and yours, I have to just comment on the tradition of opening Christmas presents...with 2+ year olds.....  In my mind it all went differently.  We literally could have given then each one gift to fight over rather than several a piece.  It really wouldn't have mattered because the only thing were distracted by was what the other was opening or had in his had so that they would drop their half opened gift  for Nikita to chew.  Not quite the Bing Crosby kind of Christmas morning I had envisioned.  But now a fond memory.  The best part was the huge motorized-drive-it-your-self-tractor that both boys IGNORED when they came down stairs.  That pretty much says it all.  (Eventually the tractor was successfully a hit Babci and Dziadzi).

Memories in action:

Jackson the sloth

 Boys who won't look at the camera.....

....and then they finally do....

 Christmas Scooter

....or two

Tractor success coming your way NOW!

well, almost.

Moving on to the animals

 3-dog Christmas

Love (or torture, you decide)

world's biggest litter box (this one's for you Lauren)



freezing...but a moment of happiness

Who thought this would be exciting?

 the boys (in slight blur, just for effect)

And now for the one and only picture of Lauren and I, and if you know us well then you will know that this is only fitting...

Great Trip to Alavama.  We love you Gables!