Go Jays Go!

We’re all pretty excited around here with the Blue Jays in the playoffs for the first time in more than 20 years. Today, on the way to school, Littleman announced, “it’s Blue Jays day for the whole world!” I didn’t bother explaining to him that his statement wasn’t entirely true. Because it was Blue Jays day in his whole world and that’s the only world that really matters to him.   

Game 1 was a bit of a bust for the Jays, but that didn’t stop us from cheering them on. I want to share the experience of watching our team with the boys. 

I have great memories of watching the Blue Jays with my parents when I was a kid. I was a teenager when the Jays won back-to-back World Series and it was so much fun.   Tomorrow D and I are going to Game 2 and I can’t wait to cheer on the Jays in person. Go Jays Go!

Advertisements

Jitters

Today’s my first “back-to-school” day since becoming a parent. Littleman starts kindergarten today!

His (superhero-themed) backpack is ready, lunch is packed and clothes are laid out. He’s ready. 

But am I ready?  I thought so. Littleman is going to be just fine. I know that. So why do I have that nervous, first-day-of-school tummy right now?  After so many years away from the school scene, I had forgotten how that feels!

In two hours, I’ll deliver my sweet boy to his new teacher and watch him head off for a whole new adventure. He’ll make new friends and learn new things. This is good.  Right?

Life lessons: sun protection

As I slathered on my SPF 60 yesterday before heading outside for some time at the pool, I realized that I’ve finally accepted that my skin is pale.  

Growing up, sun care was not the same as it is today. My sister and I are pretty fair-skinned (thanks to our Irish-Canadian mother who’s genes managed to dominate over those of our Italian dad). I remember my mom cracking out the SPF 8 “sun tan lotion” and sometimes, if we were getting really red, we’d have to use 15. Can you even buy 8 anymore?  Does it actually help?

Anyway, as I got older, I knew I needed to take better care of my skin – and I new how painful sunburns could be. But I still loved the feeling of being in the sun and felt so much better about myself when I had a great tan. 

Now that I’m a mom, I’ve finally accepted that it just isn’t worth it. Already, I can see the damage that’s been done to my skin – the fine lines and freckles. I hope that my kids will grow up knowing that their skin is beautiful just the way it is. I hope that they understand how important it is that they protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun. 

 Just yesterday, Littleman looked outside and spotted my dad on the tractor, cutting the lawn with no shirt on. He announced to my mom, “Nana! Nonno is outside with none shirt and none sunscreen!”

I think he’s getting the message. 

The family vacation, part one

I love going on vacation. I hate packing and unpacking but I love arriving at a new (or previously visited and loved) destination. I like exploring and getting settled into a new location. And I especially love visiting a warmer climate during the cold winter months.

Vacationing with kids is a whole different ballgame, though. No sleeping in and sipping cocktails here!

We arrived in Orlando after a very early wake-up and long morning. The flight was quick and painless but the airport experiences on either end we’re trying.

When we finally got our rental car and installed the car seats, we hit the road for the 90 minute drive to our friends’ beach condo.

Neither are car sleepers, but both boys conked out from total exhaustion.

IMG_2237
We grocery shopped, unloaded, ate dinner, settled in and passed out. The next morning, feeling refreshed, we awoke to a beautiful sunrise.

IMG_2240
We took a morning walk on the beach and explored the property. We played outside. We wore sandals (no winter boots!) And, the coolest thing of all? We went to the beach to watch rocket launch from Cape Canaveral.

While D and I both admit that this isn’t the type of vacation that we are used to, and it certainly isn’t relaxing, there is something amazing about watching the pure joy in your children as they experience a new place. Littleman is having the time of his life. He loves the beach with his whole heart. He can’t believe we’re letting him wear shorts.

So, yes, vacationing with kids is not the same as vacationing as a couple. There is definitely more work involved. But so far it is worth it.

IMG_2307

Four

My first-born son, my baby-who-is-no-longer-a-baby, is four years old today!

Littleman has grown and matured so much this year.  He became a big brother and has rocked that role, right from the start.  His baby brother worships him and I love to see their relationship developing.

Everyday I am amazed at all the things Littleman can do on his own.  He is so independent these days.  He can reach the light switches, go to the bathroom on his own, wash his hands, get dressed.  He can talk on the phone to his grandparents, ask politely for what he wants, help set the table.  He’s learning to ski and skate and swim.  He’s no longer as shy as he used to be and it blows my mind when he goes off for his lessons with barely a wave in our direction.

Three was an interesting age. I found it harder to parent a three-year-old than a two-year-old. Littleman’s patience was in short supply and he struggled with listening. I would get frustrated with him, which never helped. Things seem to be getting better as he continues to mature. There are still some meltdowns and whiny moments at home, but my boy is very polite and well-behaved outside our home.  People often compliment us, which, I must admit, feels good.  I have to remind myself of those compliments when I’m in the middle of battle with him at home.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been a mom for four years.  In some ways it feels like he’s always been here, but sometimes I don’t know where this big kid came from!

I was looking back at what I wrote on his birthday last year.  At that time, I was dealing with a lot of guilt about being distracted by other things that were going on and not being fully focused on Littleman.  This year, it’s a different kind of guilt.  I’ve spent much of this year focusing on the baby, while Littleman has waited (usually very patiently) for his turn getting the attention.  I hope, in the coming year, I can find a way to split my time and attention more evenly so that Littleman and I can get some good mommy and son time together.

Happy Birthday, Littleman!  I am so proud of the incredible boy you are becoming.

IMG_1825

IMG_1620

IMG_1737

IMG_1839

IMG_1978

Parenting guilt trip

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a cold. I felt crappy but had to get up with the kids, nonetheless.

I nursed Bo while D got breakfast for Littleman. Then I plopped Bo on the floor to play while I sat on the couch with my coffee. I flipped on the TV and put on our morning show to catch the news while Littleman ate his bowl of cereal in front of his iPad.

All of a sudden, I noticed Bo engrossed with the TV. And what was on the screen? A commercial lecturing me about kids and screen time.

2015/01/img_1848.jpg
Oops. We try not to let the boys watch too much TV, but sometimes we just need it. What I don’t need, though, is the TV making me feel guilty about it!