Sunday, September 30, 2012

A boy and his trains...

My mom clued me in on this touching video. After having 2 boys, I totally get it. We've watched this about 15 times over at our house. Great production value, and there is something about the soundtrack that almost makes me want to weep. Darn whistling...


We also found the prologue to this video, and like it almost just as much. It's good to be a kid, no?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Oh dear...I'm raising a freegan

Let's continue the discussion on Felix and food, okay?
I find myself saying "Felix is scrappy" quite a bit. 
But I am going to amend to "Felix eats scraps." 

Don't let his sinewy build fool you: this boy can EAT. His teachers always comment that he is such a good eater, asking for 3rds on the broccoli. 

Could he rub off on Miles? Today Miles told me, "I don't like green beans; they make me sick. God made me that way. He made me out of sugar." Well said, child, well said. Actually, I think he is made out of lemonade and cinnamon raisin bagels as that's all I ate while pregnant with Miles.

I think my friend was slightly alarmed when she witnessed Felix inhale a few hot dogs, Kobayashi style, and sweet potato fries the other night at dinner.

And we feed him. 
A lot. 


When he was a baby, we worried about him putting toys in his mouth.

Then between 1-2 years, the concern was human flesh--preferably other's flesh.

Now we are on the look out for him putting food products from the ground and trash into his mouth.
Okay, and boogers.

I'm still looking into that toddler sized Hannibal Lecter mask.

Felix has laser eyesight and can spot half chewed gum, a dropped Mike 'n Ike, or soggy cracker from a furlong away. 
(We are trying to stay away from the "miles" reference as it keeps getting Miles confused.)
He uses his go-go gadget arms and secures the disgusting piece of whatever fell out of someone's mouth that was stomped on by 100s of people, and shoves it into his mouth before I can even scream gently remind him, "FELIX NOOOOOOO!"

I don't gag at a lot, but even thinking about how many times I have had to pull half chewed gum out of his mouth makes me feel a little queasy. 

And then I wonder why he blooms mystery rashes like this on his elbow:

Today I caught him picking crusted oatmeal off of Miles's chair and eating it.
And then later in the day he started dragging his finger through a sticky puddle of gum on the high school sidewalk. (Insert gag.)
We ended the day with me cleaning said oatmeal off of the chair after dinner while he helped himself to a serving of salmonella from the trash: I found him standing next to the garbage scooping out the yogurt dregs from a container that also held 2 egg shells I used while baking.

Anyone practicing freeganism looking to adopt?


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Food Thief

I birthed a human garbage disposal.
And thief.

Felix's produce affinity has not dwindled. Sure, he doesn't sleep with the rogue navel orange and half eaten apple anymore, but he certainly knows how to scale a wall, pick the most delicious looking produce in the basket, traipse over to the bathroom sink to wash it (trained him well), peel off the sticker, and then walk around eating it.

No biggie. I'm just 2 years old and self-sufficient.

I don't mind his independence, but I do mind him stealing produce. Especially after he has just eaten a serving. We are not yet completely bowel trained and I'd like to limit the volume of poop I manage in the diapers I still change.

It's not just produce, though. He'll go to any abandoned plate on a table and pick at the scraps. Heck, he'll pick at the scraps on the floor (*if I let any food stay under the dining table after a meal, which I would never do...oh no...not me.) The kid doesn't mind leftovers, and especially loves other people's leftovers. I guess he has to fuel his six pack and nighttime escapades somehow. (I am not exaggerating on either account.)

Just to prove I am not making up Felix's propensity for stealing and food "issues", tonight we had our weekly dinner/play date with the boys' best friend T. We rotate houses, and let our boys run amok while we chat and cook dinner.

Apparently Felix was looking for appetizers (what does he think, we run a Michelin star restaurant?), and found T's art project from school. It was a cute underwater scene with huge uncooked pasta shells and sea stars dotted with glued on Cheerios. Next thing we know, he's taken the art project and is eating the Os off of the sea creature.

If I wasn't with my close friend, I would have been mortified.

With Felix's constant hunt for edible materials and Miles's standard response to being nervous: "I'm hungry," do I need to look into obesity prevention already?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Goodwill Hunting: volume 2

The problem with starting my Goodwill Hunting series in my work bathroom with an iPhone is that I am locked into these junior varsity quality headless photos with a dingy background.

Oh, and the repeated anxiety of someone coming in while I secretly take the photo on the fly.

Sure, some of you would change it up and use the nice SLR camera you have collecting dust in your cabinet...and maybe go the extra mile and put up the white photo background paper you have in a roll behind your couch.

But that's breaking the (my) rules. And that's nudging the line of "perfection." (I gave that up for lent. Okay, lie.)

Today's consignment look is called "polka dot waitress":

Polka dot sleeveless top: Forever 32 (er, 21) $2.50
Flare dark denim jeans: 7 for all Mankind $14 (I paid the Goodwill special item pricing. Splurge.)
Pink cardigan: J.Crew $??? (this bad boy is part of my own vintage collection circa 2000.)
Cream flats that are cut out of the picture: DSW $12 

Goodwill total: $16.50
Outfit total: $28.50+

Y'all, the pockets in the polka dot frock top is worth at least 10 of the 16 dollars. Love me some shirt/dress pockets...


Saturday, September 22, 2012

iProblem?

Take a peek at this article Eric shared with me last night. I've posted an interesting graphic from it below; it provides a lot of good fodder for discussion.

Our home has an iPad (and Eric and I could be accused of being slightly tethered to our iPhones)...and it may have been the keystone to getting someone in my household finally proficient at evacuating a particular cavity in his body, but like confectioneries, I believe in moderation. (I mean, I instituted an every Friday doughnut date with Miles when he started PreK.)

Part of my attraction to Felix's childcare and Miles's PreK is their focus on real-life play. At a recent parents' meeting, Miles's teacher said, "we go outside and explore whenever possible. And I do a lot of playing old school games like red light/green light, Simon says, and we learn a lot of the old nursery rhymes." I paused and thought--it says something when a teacher makes a point to emphasize the incorporation of what used to be the standard. Back when I was 4, there was no alternative.

Sure, I sung the praises of the iPad during our recent travel up the northeast (ie, LIFESAVER on a plane!), but I'll stick to counting and categorizing real bugs over electronic bugs any day.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Subliminal messaging: Halloween 2012

I knew this day would come--when my boys start telling me what they want to be for Halloween. And unlike last year when every day presented itself with a different costume idea, this year the requests, which started coming in a few weeks ago, have stayed the same:

  • Miles: ghost
  • Felix: [insert unidentifiable qualifier that sounds like "chingerstwashion"] train

Ghost--easy, right? Take some scissors to a white sheet--bam, done. Sure, in cartoons it seems like those sheets with 2 holes are the poor man's solution to the perfect costume. But let's think this through--how easily do you think a sheet with 2 eye holes is going to stay on an active 4-year-old boy? And I imagine that after 2.5 seconds he'll rip it off. And then I have to establish a 2nd costume for the under-the-sheet reveal. Or constantly replace/straighten the sheet. (Although, if we did an 80s exercise ghost, I could use a sweat band around his head...)

[????] train---not so easy, right? And truth be told, I don't have time to convert an Amazon box into a diesel engine with straps. Just not this year. Also, I see some of the ghost costume limitations: I know that in about 2.5 seconds Felix will want the box off. Sure, I could dress him as a conductor, but then who gets to hold the awkward box during Halloween parties or trick-or-treating? Yeah, I'm not interested. I'll already be cherry picking the best candy in their bags to put into the parents' private stash (I kid, I kid).

So what does a mom do? She starts sending subliminal messages over a few weeks about the costumes she wants them to wear starting the moment they express interest in Halloween costumes.

"Miles, you know that superheros run REALLY fast?"
"Let's have a superhero race!"
"Miles, your shoes look like Super Why's shoes."

"Felix, wouldn't it be fun to go up into space as an astronaut like Curious George?"
"Hey, let's pretend we are astronauts and jump off the bed into 'space pillows'."
"Boys, it's time to make space pudding!" (Put homemade pudding in a plastic sammy bag, tie up 3 ends, and cut the tip of the 4th. It squirts out like a frosting bag/toothpaste. Growing up, my mom called it space pudding.)

Low and behold, Miles suggested being a superhero one moment. I took that and exploited it for all it was worth. Now, with the help of Etsy, he's set. And with Felix, it was a little more direct--I finally asked him if he wanted to wear Miles's astronaut costume and blast off into space. He said, "yeah. I want to be a scary astronaut." The price is right (free), and we'll just work on our scary face.

Okay, before you start nominating me for the mom who crushed her children's dreams, please know this is coming from a space of trying to avoid any extra crazy/work/anxiety for our family during this exceptionally busy fall. If either of the boys pitched a fit or didn't display an ounce of interest in the costume ideas I planted into their noggins, I wouldn't push them.  Next year I have a sense that resistance could rear its ugly head...but at that point they are holding their own handmade train box and figuring out how to put back on their ghost sheet the umpteenth time it falls off. 

This year? The fight is just not in me. #pathofleastresistence

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Goodwill Hunting: volume 1

I did it.
I took a headless-public-iPhone-photo of myself.
 
Who have I become???
 
And now I am starting a regular series called "Goodwill Hunting" for the blog.
I think we'll try for every (other?) Tuesday.
 
All y'all know how that will go: (Sorry, had to use the Southern phrasing. It makes me giggle. Superfluosity at it's best. Can we talk to Merriam-Webster about "superfluosity?)
 
I will have grand intentions of establishing this regularly scheduled series (like my intentions with running in the morning every day, chore charts, and eating kale every day).
 
In about a month, I will completely abandon any semblance of commitment to this project.
 
Ah well.
 
Back to the headless picture.
 
What I have committed to and WILL follow-through with is not purchasing any new clothing for at least 1 year (12 months). Used, donated, and borrowed clothes are kosher. (That's my homage to all of my Jewish friends celebrating the New Year! L'shanah Tova!)
Oh, I am drawing the line at underwear. I'll ask Santa and/or Chanukah Harry for some new pairs...
 
I have mentioned a few times my obsession with Goodwill.
And now my obsession is only buying Goodwill clothes that are half off.
Let me just say--I get more compliments on my Goodwill clothes than I do on the ones I purchase from retail stores.
 
Here is today's breakdown. I took this photo in about 3 milliseconds for fear someone would walk in and think I was crazy.
 
 
Shirt: Banana Republic $1.50
Jeans: $2.50 (brand of unknown origin)
Boots: Nine West (brand new) $3
Tank top: Vicky Secrets $2
TOTAL: $9
 
BAM! Not bad, eh?
 
 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Are you there God? It's me, Miles


One of the developments since Miles started going to PreK has been his fascination with the idea of "God."
Although, in true boy fashion, he doesn't wax poetic to me in the car about his day at school, from the conversations we do have, I can tell that they have talked about God.
 
My mom informed me that 4 is around the age that kids start thinking about these concepts and ideas.
 
Here was a conversation in the car we had last week. And by conversation, I mean Miles drilling me with questions and statements about God:
 
"Is God bigger than abiyoyo?
I want to see God as a baby.
How did God grow; did he eat his vegetables every night?
Does his tummy get bigger?"
 
It's clear that he is personifying this concept of "God" and most of the time, I have to be very general with my answers. You know, because I'm not sure how to answer them, either!
 
This weekend, Miles drew (see above) God on the walkway. My first reaction was, "it has a BODY!" It was our first non-head-footer.
Then Miles told me about his heart, which he drew. And some food in his belly (I think it is the blob by where God's liver would be...if s/he had one.)
 
And then he went on to draw God as a baby "with his fingers in his mouth" (he has this fascination with God being a baby...).
 
Felix kindly added a third leg. Or he was being anatomically specific in assigning a sex.
 
Regardless of what you believe, there is something magical about the moment our children realize the world is bigger than our house/city/planet...and that there are some amazing forces in the universe.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Monkey Friends


Nom, nom...no?
 
Go. Here. And find the origins (and photo source) of this scrumdiddly recipe on peas and thank you.
 
I used to scoff at Sandra Lee's semi-homemade empire...and her obnoxious cleavage and costume choices for her Halloween episodes on the Food Network. 
"Keep it sweet, keep it simple, keep it semi-homemade." 
(Um, I'm pretty sure she is talking about her boobies, too.)
 
Now I am looking for a good version of an IKEA hackers blog for Trader Joe's. Currently, I follow What's Good at Trader Joe's, but I need a site that gives me recipes to make with all that TJ goodness.
 
Until then, I'll get gitty whenever I stumble upon a recipe that is semi-homemade, Trader Joe's style.
Like the one above.
I've been using Trader Joe's pizza dough for our bi-weekly (if not weekly) cheesy bread nights. I just roll it out (after resting out of the fridge for 30 min or so), sprinkle a garlic butter shmear on it, then some cheese and Italian seasoning, and pop in the oven. Okay, there may be something about preheating the oven, and directions on how to make the shmear, but then it starts sounding like a real recipe, and that's awarding me too much talent.
 
But if you have more of a sweet tooth, I highly suggest the "healthier" version of monkey bread linked above. To be fair to legit bloggers, I am making you go to recipe source blog.
 
Miles and Felix call the dish "Monkey friends." Primarily because when we are placing the dough balls in the pie plate, we pretend each ball is one of our friends during circle time. We sing them songs, tell them about calendar time, the weather forecast...it's like talking to plants...it makes the dough feel better (and I heard eliminates calories from the end product).
 
I highly recommend going to TJ's (or if you are supermom, making your own dough), securing some whole wheat pizza dough, and making some monkey friends.
 
Ooo Ooo Eee Eee Ahh Ahh
 
(that's monk-ese for delish!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Could ya miss me...just a little?

I mentioned how Eric and I took our first together-plane-ride-away trip from the boys. We left them in exceptional hands, but of course I was still nervous. My jitters abated once I knew that Felix's fever was not looking like West Nile, and when I got this picture of Miles. I leave and the kid joins a high school band.


One of my biggest concerns was how Miles's first soccer practice would go. You know, if he doesn't get off on the right cleat, he'll NEVER make the competitive leagues for kindergarten, and next thing you know, Harvard is out of the picture.

Listen, I want my kid well rounded. I want him to be social. But I am not looking for a super star athlete at 4. (Or 5,6,7...). He doesn't show a propensity for sports like some his age, and so our goal is to cultivate the skills and interests he does show. At the same time, I think exposure to a variety of activities is essential (unless it is drowning, err, swimming lessons). But when it came time to elect what soccer team we would enroll him in at the Y, we were choosing between Kiddie Kickers (for which he is actually 1 week too old to participate...shhh!), or some UA450 League. Okay, that's not the league name I don't think, but it sounded official like that. The league had practices and games and focused on improving skills and really playing a game. The guy at the Y was all, "Kiddie Kickers is for little kids who just want to kick a ball and they work on keeping their attention for like 10 seconds; it's not really designed to build skills like the league." Much to his surprise, Eric and my response was, "PERFECT! Just what we want."

So, I was delighted to receive  a roll of text message pictures of Miles's first practice:

My first reaction was, "I think his vertical jumping has improved!" And then I got all giggly over his neon yellow Nike Frees and too big shin guards. Move over UA450 League...Kiddie Kickers has their own Pele.
 
Look at that form!
 
 Trapping (see the cute ball boy to his left?). And I think he is doing that "protecting the jock strap" move that I see soccer players do during that free kick thingy where they stand in a line and protect their privates.
 toe-kicky-ma-bob
 I think this is the start of a Y-dodge (lifted from field hockey)
And apparently Miles came up with the team name..."The Rockets!"
\
The next day was full of fun as well. I was informed they were going to the park, and then received this picture:



And then I thought...what park around us has inflatables? But I couldn't think too long, because a few minutes later I got some of these pictures:
What park has inflatables AND livestock? Apparently they stumbled upon a fair, and got to ride down slides, get caught in torrential downpours, and then pet a bunch of farm animals like goats, chickens and snakes.

Wedding cake push-pops or petting livestock? Toss up!

There are rumors about the rest of the weekend: eating Mickey Mouse pancakes and kettle corn, going out for pizza, and hitting up a Marist football game.

I have to say, these kids may not be drowning in the latest toys and hippest clothes, but they have some pretty amazing experiences, and some amazing friends who love them.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nice day for a...white wedding

Eric and I had the pleasure of flying to Pittsburgh to celebrate his best friend's wedding. He was the best man, so he had the ever important job of making sure his friend didn't hyperventilate.

Even though we both have been away from the boys, both independently and together, and even up to a week at a time, this was the first time that we both a plane ride away.

Felix reminded us of that when we were called by our family friends who watched them letting us know on Friday Felix had a fever and needed to stay home from school. Luckily, their family friend was able to watch him for the day (how does one repay someone like that?).

We had a blast. Note to self: starve yourself before  you go to the wedding of a professional chef, unless you are totally okay with gaining 5 lbs over 3 days. No, seriously.

Luckily, it didn't matter that I forgot our nice camera since I was too stuffed each minute of the weekend to manage a few lb camera. (Thanks iPhone!)

What was so refreshing about this wedding weekend was that it was non-traditional in a sense that rang true to how the couple is and are as individuals. The rehearsal "dinner" was like a casual party with make your own paninis, spicy buffalo chicken dip, lots of finger food, Izzy sodas and other fun adult beverages (I think one beer was called pig slap or something?). Oh, and mustache cookies along with tiny little cups of "booze mousse" as Eric and I call it.

Since Eric had a lot of best man duties, I got to...wait...hold on...TAKE A NAP one of the days. I also checked out Pittsburgh's finest shopping establishments, and may have forced myself to manage work e-mails to avoid that Monday slaughter of business waiting for me.

I also had time to play dress up on my own. Okay, so I have maybe 3 hairstyles to my name: up, down, and dirty. But I wanted to do something special for the wedding instead of my flat iron down "do."

I opted for the 21st century topsy tail mash-up.  Yup, I think that's the name. At least that's what Eric told me when I was fishing for a compliment later in the night: "Yeah...I like it. It's like a topsy tail." (Compliment? Or just proof my husband knows way too much about 90's hair trends?)

If I was a good blogger and friend, I would have a step-by-step (insert Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Sommers) video on how to do it.  Not only am I not a good blogger, but I would NEVER go to me for hair advice.

But alas, since no one asked, this is what I did:
  • I didn't wash my hair for a day prior to the wedding. (I remember in middle school my friend Kate telling me to always have dirty hair when you were going to make it look special. It's the same with clothes and underwear, right?)
  • I put my hair in a low pony tail and quickly curled the ends to disguise the 2 inches of split ends.
  • I did the "split the pony in the middle above the rubber band and flip the tail part through the whole" maneuver.
  • I did the maneuver described above TWICE, but instead of letting the tail flop down the second topsy turve (fabricated verb), I shoved it back into the hole area and blindly secured a bunch of bobby pins in there to hold the ends in place.
  • I sprayed my head with lots of hairspray.
Here is my iPhone picture of me trying to capture the end result with my reflection in a mirror. Notice I didn't capture any of the end result. And this was attempt #4 with the photo angle. Ah well.


Oh, you like my matching earrings and necklace? Yeah, I totally forgot my matching pearl earrings at home, so I had the big debate with my reflection whether or not to go with naked lobes, or non matching silver rings. The reflection won, and I decided to wear the non matching earrings. (See what happens when I have 2 hours to get ready by myself? I start talking to my reflection and watching a What Not To Wear marathon on TV.)

I was lucky enough to sit with my in-laws during the ceremony as they were invited as well. We all marveled at the entire ceremony--it was unlike anything we had ever experienced before.You know it's going to be amazing when the bridal party walks down to Trans Siberian Orchestra.

The space they held the ceremony and reception was unreal. It was a studio space called J Verno Studio. The lighting, the bar area, and the 6 monitors that broadcast all the sillies going on in the ALL NIGHT photo booth was amazing.


It was like the best of alternative weddings Pinterest board. (Why wasn't that around when I got married?) Some highlights:

  • Amazing food stations. Again, it helps when the groom is a chef. Make your own tacos, made to order pasta bar, carving station, sushi boats, fantastic passed appetizers, and at the end of the night as you exited the space, a cart outside with corn dogs and hot dogs.
  • Who needs cake when you can have PUSH POP cakes? And one of the flavors the "Elvis" with bananas, peanut butter, cake and crispy bacon. And to add to the delight, fresh churros and scoops of vanilla ice cream with caramel. Yes please.
  • Probably the best wedding DJ I have ever heard. We are all trying to get our paws on a mix of the songs he played. Like he really DJ'd...doing that "wicky-wicky-wicky" move with the records. And he played the theme song to Fresh Prince. 'Nough said.
  • Glow sticks!
  • And the photo booth I mentioned before. The best is seeing the pictures over the course of the night. Somehow, one of our friends mysteriously ended up with the Michael Jackson sequined silver glove from the props room. (Oops!)
  • Wine bottle holder for the 1st, 3rd, and 5th anniversary. It was a wooden box carved (?) with their names. You wrote messages to them for each of the 3 anniversaries and stuffed it in the box, where they will put wine bottles to enjoy on each of the special dates (and read our sentiments).
  • Move over champagne toast, it was all about the apple cider toast! (Though, I did spot some mini champagne cans with straws that made their way around the attendees.)
Seeing old friends and dancing the night away was totally worth it. And Eric and I had some nice time together without our pantless boys. I missed them terribly...but in my next post, you'll see why they might want us to go away more regularly...

(What is up with my face? And my slouching?)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Grand Jury Doody

Is doody still colloquial for caca/poop/bowel movement (*shudder*)?

I am not in on the scatological scene since giving up talking about anything related to "that which shall not be mentioned," but I am hoping my title "ha-ha" resonated with at least one of you.

I'm one of those chronic jury dutiers (doodiers) who gets called during convenient times like when I am actively pumping milk for my infant and would love to fulfill my civic duty while scoping out public incarcerated fridges in which to store my breast milk. (Incarcerated fridges totally doesn't make sense, but I really wanted to use the word "incarcerated".)

Luckily, I didn't have to serve back in 2010, but I had to call every day for two weeks straight to see if milky white and her udder machine had to go in.

I mean, did I fill out a loyalty card at the DMV when I got my license? I feel like every moment I become eligible, they call me. And I'm starting to suspect that instead of that secret list of individuals they love to chronically call, it's families...

...Eric just got quite the surprise when he found out he was summoned for 2 months of Grand Jury Duty. You know, right during cross country season (ie, his life blood). Alternative? He could defer until January when he'll be teaching a brand new course at school on the history of happiness. Poor guy totally had his own Sophie's Choice decision today. Sorry runners...happiness class is the chosen child.

Grand Jury Duty is, well, grand. Here's the skinny:

  • Eric serves for 2 months
  • Eric serves all day Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Eric gets no lunch breaks (but allowed 20 minutes to grab lunch and bring it back)
  • Eric gets $40 dollars a day (ca-ching! We're going to Disney World!)
  • Eric misses a ton of teaching days and cross country practices twice a week
  • Eric reviews over 400 cases with 20+ other Grand Jury Doodiers, many of whom prolong the process by questioning the relationship status of the accused, and trying to assign guilt when all you have to do is CONFIRM THERE IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO GO TO TRIAL. Yes, I just shouted that.
Grand, eh?

I did hear they served Chick-fil-a chickin' biscuits in the morning...too bad we're boycotting them. Until the peppermint chocolate chip milkshake comes back this holiday...then we have some talking to do.


Post Script: I don't want you to think I am some radical libertarian picketing outside the courthouse wearing a sandwich board that says "DOWN WITH CONSCRIPTION!" I mean, I totally respect the concept of jury duty...just not for me and my family.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sucess: PreK

Miles came running over to me at the end of school (while Mrs. Q reminded him to use walking feet-doesn't she know he is a runner?) and with the biggest hug, told me he loved big boy school. Praise jeebus.

I asked him what all he did today, and he told me he was keeping it a secret until Daddy got home.

I did get to squeeze out a little bit of information from him (sorry to my Facebook friends for the repetition):

"Mommy, I have a LOT of homework after Christmas." (??)

"Mom, I love big boy school; I saw some of my friends pee standing up. And 3+3 is 6."

Yup...it's going to be a good year.

[Insert first day of school picture]

I hate to say that I don't have the picture of Miles holding up a chalkboard that says "1st day: PreK" with a toothy grin and an award winning exuberance for his new academic home.

First, I don't have a chalkboard.
Second, this morning I was at work at 6am resetting my network password while Eric alligator wrangled the boys before he started his TWO MONTH jury duty service, and when I got home, it was either a first day of school picture, or ensuring the boys' teeth were brushed. Dental hygiene always wins.
Third, Miles was not happy about big boy school.

See, Miles starts PreK this year at a fantastic school (with unfantastic hours. Like that made up word?), but it's not Marist. He's been in the care of Marist since he was minus 1 week old (#preemie math. And that was more Twanilla practice, which absolutely bothers my husband on the off chance I force him to read my blog. #youarewelcomehoney). So going to a new school after 4 years of consistent care is mind blowing--for all of us.
  • Meet the teacher day: he was my cute little parasite on my leg all morning.
  • Short morning last week: he came running out telling me he loved big boy school and wanted to go every single day. 
  • Today: the first real day of big boy school, and he started this morning off with "I want to do Marist circle time, not CMK circle time." And then the "I don't want to go to big boy school" started echoing throughout our house, followed by the real question: "how many kids will be there?" 
I know his biggest fear is new kids. He's told me he is nervous about big kids...he's told me he is shy. It kind of breaks my heart. And truth be told, he is one of the youngest and smallest. One of the 4-year-old girls looked like she could eat him for snack.

What I've learned about children who are extremely shy and nervous, is that you have to find that sweet spot of providing enough information so that they feel prepared, but not bombarding them with talking about the future experience so that they start agonizing over it.

I feel like we have done a great job getting him ready for school. It's just the fact that I am assuming a great backpack of guilt about these first couple of weeks of school...

...2 days/nights this week, Miles and Felix are having someone else stay with them while Eric and I are at Eric's best friend's wedding in PA. Hey boys! Have fun starting your first week of school--let Mom and Dad know how it goes next week. We won't be here.

And then the next week, we start our pick up schedule: 2 days with one neighbor, 2 days with another, Fridays with me. Even better? He's never met these neighbors. Hey Miles, totally jump into this stranger's car who is going to drop you back off at Marist, where you'll need to jump out of the car and run down to school by yourself. 

Trouble is, we don't have an alternative. I try not to complain about my work (at the very core, it is a choice), but I just have to take one moment to vent that working full time outside of the house and having a child in preK is overwhelmingly difficult. Okay, done.

So the plan is, after I get over the first initial weeks of emotionally damaging my child, who will start answering to the name "orphan" or "foster", I'll do a twofor picture of both Miles and Felix.

Until then, if you see a little boy named Miles who looks lost, give him a hug...or at least "the rock" with fireworks.