Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The 55 minute donut

These winter afternoons are cold. And dark. And long! We used to play at the playground everyday after school and by the time we got home it would be time to start getting dinner ready. But now with below freezing temperatures we are usually home by 3:20 and that leaves us a lot of time to kill before the dinner, bath, bed routine can start.  I love my kids. I promise. But being stuck inside with a 2 year old and a 5 year old every single afternoon when they're tired and hungry gets old fast. 

So today I decided to take the kids out for a treat after school. We drove 15 minutes to Dunkin Donuts. Why 15 minutes? Because that's our closest drive thru! When we first moved here I was slightly devastated to discover that DD drive thrus are few and far between around here. As a proper New Englander I was addicted to Dunkin Donuts and grabbing an afternoon coffee was part of my daily routine. But anyone with little kids knows how annoying it can be to get kids out of their car seats and through a parking lot then into the store then back through the parking lot then back into their car seats. Especially when one of those kids is a 2 1/2 year old who by nature hates his car seat and thinks it's a form of torture. 

So I have to really want a coffee these days to drive that far for one. We rarely go anymore which makes it a very exciting adventure for the kids. So today, that was our after school adventure. We drove the 15 min. Ordered a coffee and a couple donuts. Got to the window. The man handed me the donuts which my kids immediately bit into. And that's the exact moment I remembered my wallet was back at the house. 

So.... We drove 15 min home. I ran inside and grabbed my wallet. Drove 15 min back to the drive thru window. Paid the very patient and understanding Dunkin Donuts employee. Then drove 15 min back home again.

Our adventure started at 3:23 and ended at 4:18. In the end, the kids got their donuts so they were happy. By the time we got home I had just enough time to sit down on the couch and drink my coffee and then it was time to start getting dinner ready so I was happy. We are all snuggling on the couch now while we wait for dinner to be ready. And that's how we filled up our afternoon today. I wonder what we'll do tomorrow. 

(If anyone wants to have an afternoon playdate, call me!!)






Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Kindergarten

This morning we had Nathan's teacher conference. I was expecting a good report because I can see at home what a good reader he is and how smart he is. And he's just the sweetest boy but of course I'm biased being his mother. I couldn't be more proud of the report we got. 

We were told he's above and beyond where he should be academically yet never bored, he always finds a way to stay engaged and keep busy. When she has to get something ready for the next activity she sometimes puts him in charge of class!!

He's responsible and compassionate and has lots of friends. He's always happy and a delight to have in the classroom. 

I was so nervous that Nathan would have the hardest time adjusting to our move but he seems to be handling it the best out of all of us!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

This is...

Nathan has always loved to draw. We keep a stack of coloring books and blank paper on the dining room table next to a giant tin of crayons and he can be found sitting there multiple times throughout the day coloring picture after picture. 

Ever since kindergarten started he has been very focused on writing too. So each picture now comes with a very clear description letting you know what his drawing is which is great.  Although most of his pictures are very literal and easy to identify there's always the occasional one that stumps me. 

I think every parent has had that awkward moment where they have no idea what their kid drew which leads to the "Tell me about your picture" conversation. But Nathan's new love for titles eliminates that problem. Of course I can always tell when he draws me, it's like looking in a mirror!












Friday, October 2, 2015

Timeout

Ryan and I just got home from running some errands and when we walked inside he threw his shoes against the wall. I asked him to pick them up and put them away nicely. Instead, he went up to his room and shut the door. 

I had to get lunch ready so I welcomed the silence and let him stay upstairs. A few minutes later he came down, marched right up to me and said "I go timeout. I not happy with you. Put my shoes away. I sorry". Then he hugged me. 

On one hand I'm kind of proud that he knew he did something wrong so he went to his room to "think about it" and then when the time was up, acknowledged his behavior and apologized. 

On the other hand, I'm a little concerned that maybe I'm putting him in timeout too often. Is it normal for a two and a half year old to perfect the timeout routine and be able to execute it with no parental assistance??




Thursday, September 17, 2015

Nathan's first car show

Last night Nathan turned up toward me and said "This is the best place I've ever been". We were downtown where the main street had been shut down and nearly 50 vintage cars were parked all along the way for people to come check out. To say Nathan is obsessed with cars is an understatement. He can tell you anything you want to know about any car out there. Porsche. Corvette. Mustang. Chevy Camaro. Honda Odyssey. Toyota Sienna. Hybrid cars. Electric cars. Sports cars. Minivans.  He knows them all. He loves them all.

We've been talking about taking him to a car show forever. And I happened to find out totally last minute that our town was hosting one last night. So I fed the boys a quick dinner at home and then we headed down and spent the next hour exploring. He got to look under the hood and check out the engines. Peek inside and see the leather interiors. He showed me which cars had the flip up headlights and which ones had two exhaust pipes and he especially loved all the fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirrors. He had so much fun and kept telling me he never wanted to leave.

As a parent, it's an amazing feeling to see pure joy on your child's face. And tonight was definitely one of those moments. 

















Thursday, September 10, 2015

Porch love

The first thing I noticed when we came to see this house was the farmers porch. I immediately imagined sitting out there on Halloween to pass out candy. And being able to sit outside during a rainstorm. Two things I grew up doing on the porch at my parents house. 

It's pouring right now. And this is where I'm hanging out. Next month I'll be out here with a bowl of candy. 





Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Be brave

This has been a very long summer. We moved out of our house in Massachusetts at the end of June. For seven weeks the boys and I shuttled back-and-forth between my in-laws in New York and my parents in MA. Many days were spent outside playing at the beach, at pools and at playgrounds. We had a lot of fun and are grateful that we got to spend so much time with our family and friends before the official move to NJ. 

Two weeks ago we finally moved into the new house. It's a very strange feeling to be in a new house in a new state surrounded by new people. We're fortunate that we've met a few people and everyone's been so friendly and welcoming but most of our days are spent just me and the boys trying to find ways to keep busy. I know it won't be like this forever but for now it feels very lonely.  

So I'm really looking forward to school starting next week.  I'm excited for Nathan to make new friends and I know he'll love kindergarten but that first day ties my stomach into knots.  I am dreading the moment that Will and I have to bring him to school and drop him off knowing that he doesn't know anybody. 

I went out the other night to pick him up some new clothes for school and I saw this shirt. Be Brave. Adventure Awaits. I almost burst into tears. I don't know if this message was meant for Nathan or for me but I needed to hear it. 

I know he will love school. I know he will make friends. I know this place will start to feel like home soon. Until then, we just have to be brave. Our new adventure is about to begin.