What’s This About?

Simply said, this is where I get to rant and rave about my life in suburbia as a mom to an active 2-yr old boy and a wife to a geeky husband. They say you can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl... Oh so true!

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May 11th, 2013

We’ve moved…

We have a new address.  We’ve moved to www.mamainsuburbia.blogspot.com.  Come visit us there!

October 4th, 2012

Kindergarten=independence?

No one told me that kindergarten and independence go hand-in-hand.  I’m just barely accepting the fact that my little man is a kindergartener.  But now I gotta face this whole independence issue?  Shoot.  Me.  Now.

So yeah.  Last week, we had a pretty late night.  I decided to drive Lil T to school the next morning so he could sleep a half hour more.  No biggie, right?  Here’s how the conversation went.

“Why can’t I take the bus?”

“Because you’re late for the bus.  Finish your breakfast and I’ll take you to school.”

Pause.  I can see his little mind working.  His eyes move from left to right.

“Okay, but just drop me off in front of the school.  I can walk in by myself.”

So we get to the school.  I get out of the car.  “Mom, I can go in by myself.  You can go now.” Really?!? But I had to go in the school anyways to drop off a check.  So I walk in with him.  I hear a big sigh.  As soon as we get inside, “Okay, bye mom.”

Geeeeez.  And let me tell you about yesterday.

Lil T has been wanting to buy lunch since the start of school.  And lately, he’s been doing a lot better with eating his lunch.  No more full lunch box returns every day.  And besides, “all the kids buy lunch”.  So yesterday was pizza day.  Pizza day is HUGE!  That’s when EVERYONE buys lunch.  In the beginning of the week, I told Lil T I would let him try buying lunch this week.  He was very excited.  That’s all he kept talking about.  The night before the big day, I reminded him about it.  I said I would go in and have lunch with him.   That way I could make sure he was able to get his lunch okay and that he had enough time to eat…since lunch is only 25 minutes long.  Besides, the school encourages and welcomes parents to come eat with the kindergarteners.  Again, I could see his mind working.  Amazing how us moms can see these things. He stops what he’s doing.  Turns to me and says, “As long as you don’t keep saying…keep eating T, keep eating.” Oh my gawsh.  That had me in stitches.  He thinks I’m going to embarrass him. Of course, I had to promise him I wouldn’t say it.

So finally the big day comes.  I go to the school and Lil T sees me.  I wave to him, but at the same time keep my distance so he can do his thing.  He walks in to the cafeteria and gets on the lunch line.  It’s the cutest thing.  He’s tippy toeing and straining his neck to catch a glimpse of the whole getting lunch process.  The line leads into the kitchen area which is completely hidden by a large wall.  This is where the lunch server asks them what they want.  Then they move down the line with their little tray on that metal bar thingy until they get to the end and come back out.  Then they’re greeted by the cashier.  You can either pay cash or if you have an account set up (which Lil T does), then you just give her your name and you’re set.  So I’m standing by the cashier, trying to sneak a peek inside to see the whole process.  But of course, I can’t because of that big darn wall.  I do see that he is so small he barely reaches the top of the metal bar thingy as he slides his tray down.  Thank goodness one of the teachers is inside with them to help them reach all the stuff.  He finally comes out.  Lunch tray in hand.  And he’s beaming.  His smile is ear-to-ear and I could tell he was so proud of himself.  I was proud of him too!  I was soooo tempted to take out my phone and snap a picture so y’all could see this proud moment.  But I didn’t.  ‘Cause that would’ve been WAY too embarrassing.

So I walk with him to a lunch table where we’re greeted by his little friends.  He sits down and immediately they all get chatty.  It’s great to see.  But of course, being the neurotic mom that I am, I kindly remind him to eat.  A slight whisper in his ear.  Just one time.  He keeps chatting away.  Pizza untouched.  Ugh, I’m biting my tongue.  Restrain mommie, restrain. So I turn away and start chatting with the teachers and lunch ladies.  Which by the way, these ladies are wonderful.  They make their rounds to each table helping kids open their milk cartons, handing out napkins, even reminding them to eat.  Lil T turns to me and says, “you’re not staying the whole time, are you?”  Sheeeeesh. So much for having lunch with my son.  But he’s right.  He’s doing just fine.  And I know he’s in good hands.  So I bend down to say goodbye.  He puts his arms out, puckers his lips to kiss me goodbye but at the last second changes his mind and saids, “how about just a hug?”  Awwwwww, he’s growing up too fast. So I settle for the hug.

I have to say…that was one of those little proud moments that I will never forget.  My little man bought his first lunch.  Some of you might be thinking yeah, ok so he bought his first lunch.  Big deal.  Well yes, it is a big deal.  A big deal for him and a big deal for me.  It’s these little moments of transition to independence that I will treasure forever.  Not looking forward to them, but nevertheless proud that they happened.

And you’ll be happy to know that through this whole experience, I didn’t let a tear drop.  Oh, there were plenty of opportunities for Niagara Falls.  Tears of joy, of course.  But not one dropped.  And knowing me, that in itself is a HUGE accomplishment.  Hey, you know what?   I think this whole independence thing is catchy, lol.

As for that last-minute switcharoo from a kiss and a hug to just a hug.  I understand.  He probably felt a bit embarrassed in front of his friends.  He still gives me a kiss and a hug before he gets on the bus so I know it’s not because he’s outgrown that.  Thank goodness. It’s okay.  It’s his first time having me there in front of his new school friends, so I’ll give him that.  But next time.  I’m going in for the big smooch!  I mean, c’mon…us moms gotta embarrass our kids.  Can’t take the fun outta that!!

 

 

 

September 28th, 2012

Life Lessons Are Hard When You’re Five

Childhood is one big learning process.  And so is parenthood.  As a child grows, he/she encounters certain situations that “teach” them about the way of life.  Some positive.  And unfortunately, some negative.  For the parent, this also becomes a learning experience.  How do I handle these situations?  How do I effectively guide my child down the right path (if there is one)?

Well, last night we encountered our first such “situation”.  I was in the middle of making dinner.  Actually, rushing to make dinner because it was getting late. Lil T was in the kitchen with me and we were talking about what he did that day in school.  Like I’ve said before, Lil T loves school.  He’s always very happy when he mentions school.  And last night was no different.  He talked about lunch, about going to the library, how funny Mrs. F was.  It was all smiles, until he started talking about recess and playing football.  Apparently, football is the new game that the boys play.  As he started telling me about the game, his voice starts to quiver.  I shift my attention from my half-sauteed brussel sprouts to look at him, and he’s getting teary eyed.  The more he talks about it, the more tears he’s got.  In a flash of about 45 seconds, the boy has gone from teary eyed to full out Niagara Falls.  Mind you, I’m still trying to talk to him and keep an eye on my brussels.

It started off with how the other boys run with the football (close to their body, like real football players do) and he couldn’t get the football.  Then it was how he tried to “tackle” them to grab the football.  Aiyah, tackle?  My little 40 inch pint-size trying to tackle?!? Then it was no one ever throws the ball to him.  “Well sweetie, that’s how the game is played.  They don’t give the ball to you.  You have to try to get it.”  Big mistake. “But they give the ball to everyone else.  Everyone except me!”  More tears.  Then it expanded to “it’s because I’m so small.”  Great, body image comes into play. Now that I think about it, he’s kinda mentioned it before.  But before, it was basketball and how the other kids weren’t passing the ball to him.  But he never got upset like this.

So in the midst of all this, my brussel sprouts are starting to get crisp.  Meanwhile, Papa in Suburbia is in the other room fooling around with the piano.  He apparently sees us.  I’m sure he can hear us.  No help from him.  So before my brussel sprouts start to burn, I ask him to talk to his son because he’s apparently very upset about this game of football.  Big mistake.  Big friggin’ mistake.  Instead of listening to him and empathising and trying to explain the situation, Papa in Suburbia starts to (what seemed to me) taunt him.  Apparently, Lil T must have felt the same way because he got even more upset.  “Well, what are you going to do about it?”  “Are you going to keep crying because they won’t give you the ball?”  “What do you want me to do about it?”  REALLY???  WTF?  No freakin way did he just say all that.  Yeah, he did.  Note to self:  if you ever feel like jumping off a bridge, don’t ever ask him for advice.

Okay, time for Mom to step in again.  Burnt brussel sprouts or not.  So I tried to explain the situation to him.  How that’s the object of the game.  It’s not because you’re small.  Did you try asking the other boys to pass the ball to you?  Maybe it’s because they don’t know you want the ball.  If it upsets you, maybe play with some other kids.  “But all the boys play football.  I don’t want to be the only one playing with the girls.”  Okay. Back and forth it went.  In the end, I just said he should talk to the teacher about it if it’s really upsetting him.  Sorry, teachers. Maybe she can arrange it so that the little kids have their own game and the bigger kids have another game.  This seemed to calm him down a bit.

I don’t know about you, but stuff like this just breaks my heart.  To see him so happy about something and at the same time get so upset over such minute things.  Well, to me it seems small.  But to him, it’s probably the world.  I mean, c’mon, it’s recess.  There’s no bigger thing than recess when you’re a five year old.  And Lil T is so passive.  No comparison to the other kids, who are the aggressive go-getters.  And size?  Yes, he is on the small side.  The other kids weren’t being mean.  It’s the nature of life.  Unfortunately, Lil T will be facing alot of these situations.  As a parent, I wish I could be there everytime to help ease the pain.  But I can’t.  I just have to comfort, empathize and explain the situation.  And hopefully help him along the journey.  As for Papa in Suburbia, well, I think there’s a big learning curve awaiting him too.  As a parent, you have to learn to be sensitive in such situations.  You have to talk in a way that kids will understand.  You can’t talk to a child like you would an adult.  But it’s not his fault, he’s never been around kids.  No sibliings, therefore no nieces or nephews.

Dinner did eventually make it to the table.  Brussel sprouts were tasty.  And by the time the dinner conversation started, Lil T was back to his old self again.  All smiles.  No cares or worries.  Thank goodness.

Yup, it’s going to be a big learning experience for all of us.  There may be some tears along the way, some harsh words thrown here and there, but we will get through it together.

September 20th, 2012

The Great Lunch Debacle

Three weeks into school and things are going GREAT!  Lil T loves school!  Let’s hope this lasts until college.  Ummm, doubt it.  But let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

All is well, except when it comes to lunch.  Every morning I pack him a lunch.  And every afternoon, the lunch is returned…barely eaten.   And the boy is famished when he comes home.  Duh, of course he is…HE DOESN’T EAT HIS LUNCH!  It’s not like I pack some health-crazed, exotic, unidentifiable food.  It’s ham and cheese.  Or pasta with butter and parmesan cheese.

Every morning I ask what he would like for lunch.

“Ham and cheese.”  So I pack ham and cheese.  And what’s in his lunchbag when he comes home?  Ham and cheese.

” I want pasta with cheese.”  So there I am, 7am in the morning making pasta with cheese.  Packed in a thermos so it’ll be warm when it’s time for lunch.  And guess what’s in his lunchbag when he comes home?  Cold, dried up pasta and cheese.

I’ve searched websites and cookbooks for cool lunch ideas.  Even made those little cut up ham and cheese on a stick thingys to make it more “fun”.  Didn’t work.  He’ll eat the fruits that I pack.  He’ll eat the snack bag of popcorn or cookies.  But no lunch.

I’ve been warned by other moms to expect this.  With the newfound independence and lunch time being only 25 minutes, I was told to expect that his lunch would be returned.  And so it’s true.

I guess I just have to get over it.  He’ll eat if he’s hungry, right?  Ugh.

So what are some things that you pack your kids for lunch?  Would love to hear some ideas.

 

August 30th, 2012

It’s a lonely road

I am going through addiction withdrawal.  The “my only child is now in all-day kindergarten and I miss him so much” addiction withdrawal.  It is Day 3 of kindergarten.  Lil T LOVES it!  He loves the bus ride.  He loves the teachers.  He loves playing with his friends.  Me?  Ugh.  I miss him.  The day seems so long.  The day seems so quiet.  I have time to do anything I want.  So what the heck is wrong with me?!?!?  I miss him.

I adjusted to life in the suburbs pretty easily when I first moved from New York to Connecticut, about 7 years ago.  Even with no friends and no family around, it was okay.  I never really noticed a void.  I had a job.  Then I became a mom.  There was always someone, something to keep me busy.  Now.  There’s a void.  After spending a weekend in NY with family and coming back this week to Lil T going to school all day, every day…I’m noticing a void.  Sure, I keep myself busy for most of the day, running errands, catching up on housework, enjoying a quiet cup of coffee, or sometimes doing nothing.  But that’s when I realize…it gets a bit lonely.  I was at Tar-jay the other day doing some retail therapy when I noticed all around me were moms shopping with their toddlers or preschoolers in toll.  And I thought…that was me.  Oh how I miss that.  I know, you think I’m crazy.  I thought I was crazy too.  All the times I’ve had to shop with Lil T I’ve thought, it would be so nice to just shop by myself.  And it is.  For the majority of the time.  But that day, I missed my little man and the quirky conversations we always have and get this, when I heard another mom scream at her toddler, “stay in the cart and stop touching everything”…it brought back memories.  I’m an idiot, I know.

I’m sure this feeling won’t last forever.  Like I said, it’s addiction withdrawal.  A five year addiction of having Lil T with me every single day.  It would’ve been nice to have another child to take care of.  That, of course, was my plan.  But unfortunately, things don’t always work out as you plan.  I guess having another child was never written in the stars for me.   But that’s another story.  A story that hopefully one day, I will have the strength to tell.

But for now, I will rely on my bonbons to get me through the day.  Eventually I will have to get myself back into the workforce.  I’m sure by next week, I’ll be back in the full swing of things.  But until then…I will enjoy my free time.  Because one day in the near future, I will regret ever having complained about having too much time on my hands.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to get ready to get my Beanie off the bus.  Fun time has begun!

 

August 28th, 2012

Back to school jitters…for the mom.

When and how did the summer fly by?!?!?  Wasn’t it just yesterday we were wishing everyone at school a happy summer?  Well, I guess it was, according to my blog, because that’s how long it’s been since I’ve posted.  And here it is…the first day of school.

The first day of school.  The first day of kindergarten for Lil T.  His first trip on a school bus.  All by himself.

How did it go?  Fine for him.  Not so fine for me.  Lil T was very excited.  He woke up bright and early.  I asked him why he was up so early.  “First day of school, mom!”  At least he’s more enthusiastic than I was.  Me?  I barely slept a wink.  All I kept thinking was…  Will he be okay?  Will he know where to go after he gets off the bus?  Will he make friends?  Is he going to be scared?  What if it rains?  Do I put rainboots on him?  Will he know which bus to get on when school lets out?  Will….

Yea, that was how I spent my night.  And the answer to all those questions?  I have no clue!  I just prayed that it will all work out.

So all morning, Lil T asked, “Is the bus coming yet?  I don’t want to miss my bus.”  Geez kid, curb your enthusiasm.  My heart is beating a mile a minute. And then it was finally time to go wait for the bus.  The bus was a bit late.  But it finally came.  And I can feel his enthusiasm waiver a bit and a little bit of anxiety build up.  He grabbed my hand and we headed towards the bus.  All I kept thinking was, ”whatever you do, DON’T CRY!”  Me, not him.  Bawl all you want when he drives away, but *sniff* not *sniff* now. Then he said, “can I please have a hug?”  And the flood gates opened.  Great job, mom. I watched my little man go up those massive bus stairs, all the while trying to wipe the tears before they fall.  The bus driver, bless her heart, says, “you can come up, Mom, and help him get seated.”  So I walked up with him, apologizing to her for my tears and still trying to wipe them away.  “It’s okay, happens all the time”, she says encouragingly.  Thanks Ms. J.  Thanks for your words of comfort and not making me feel like the idiotic, crybaby mom that I am. Too late, I think the bus full of kids just witnessed what an idiotic, crybaby mom I am.  Great! I wiped my final tear as I walked off the bus, turned to blow my baby a kiss, and waved as the bus drove away.  Then I proceeded to bawl all the way home.

And what did I do when I got home?  What any sane mom that just saw her only baby get driven away on the bus would do, of course.  I jumped in my car and high tailed it to the school.  I would’ve followed the bus, but I didn’t want to be TOO obvious.  I figure I’ll just head to the school and hide in the sidelines and make sure he gets off the bus and into the school okay.  Well, wouldn’t you know that alot of the other moms were there also.  Everyone had their camera and video cameras, trying to capture the precious moment of their child getting off the bus.  Crap, I forgot my camera. At least that made me feel a little better, I wasn’t the only mom there.  Now at least I didn’t have to hide.  Lil T’s bus finally pulls up and off the bus he came.  Safe and sound.  Not a bit scared.  There was an aide right there to help the kids off the bus and escort them into the school.  Phew! Lil T saw me and was all smiles.  My little man did it!  He rode the bus all by himself.  “Have a great day!”, I screamed as he walked by.  And yes you guessed it…flood gates opened again!  Darn it!

June 13th, 2012

Tears of joy

Ok, I admit it.  I like to cry.  In fact, there’s times I find myself bawling.  When I’m sad.  When I’m happy.  I guess I’m a very sensitive person (at least that’s my reasoning for it).

Today was Lil T”s preschool end of year graduation celebration.  End of year?  Graduation?   Seriously?  I can’t be THAT old.   HE can’t be THAT old.  And guess what?  I got a bit teary eyed.

All right, I practically bawled my eyes out.  Quite embarrassing, I must say.  I can’t believe just 2 years ago, he started preschool.  My brave, little man…a little hesitant, no tears (at least none for him), and a bit shy.  And now 2 years later, he’s made lots of friends, learned lots of things, and continues to have an overjoyed outlook for what lies ahead.  He’s definitely ready for kindergarten.  Me?  That’s another story. 

It’s bittersweet for me.  It’s been amazing these past 5 years watching him grow into who he is today.  It’s also very sad.  I mean, this is it.  I won’t get another chance like this.  I won’t have another child to experience this with again.  What’s even scarier is that the next ten or so years might go by just as fast.  I have to remind myself every day to enjoy every second of it because I will never get this time back.  Lil T will probably be my one and only child.  It saddens me every time I think about it.  So I have to treasure times like these and enjoy every second of it.

And this is only preschool. YIKES!

So although there was a bit of sadness in the tears I shed today,  they were mostly of pride and joy.  I’m proud of my little man.  And I’m happy that I’ve done “all right” in my role as mommie raising a wonderful child.

May 20th, 2012

Dear Beanie…

Dear Beanie,

Happy Birthday to my sweet little boy!  Well, you’re not so little anymore.  You’re 5 today.  I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I brought you home from the hospital.  I still remember how tiny you were.  That’s why I called you “Beanie”.  Tiny and skinny, just like a string bean. 

But look how you’ve grown.  Physically, mentally, emotionally.  Five years ago, I wouldn’t have guessed my colicky, non-stop crying, always-needed-to-be-held baby would turn into the independent, funny, intelligent, compassionate little man that you are. 

You’re the best son a mommie could ever have.  As much as I’ve tried to teach you and nurture you these past 5 years, I think you’ve done an equally, if not better, job in teaching me.  You’ve taught me what innocence is,  what it’s like to see the world in your eyes.  You’ve taught me to how to stop and just smell the flowers…literally.  You’ve taught me the names of every skateboarding trick there is out there and no matter how many times I get it wrong, you say, “it’s ok, Mommie.”  But most of all, you’ve taught me to love someone unconditionally.  I love hearing you call me “mommie”  or “mama” or yes, even “mom”.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I find myself staring at you sometimes.  Just because.  Because of your smile.  Because of the goofy dance you’re doing.  Because of your silly rendition of the latest pop song.  Because of the things you say to me.  Just because.  And I smile.  I guess I’m hoping if I stare long enough, I can freeze this moment in time.  Because I never want those moments to end.  Don’t grow up too fast, Beanie.  I know you’re ready…but I’m not. 

I am so grateful and blessed for the wonderful gift you are giving me every day!  You make my smile, you make me cry, you make me sing, you make me dance.  You are, and forever will be…my angel, my Beanie, the love of my life!

Happy Birthday, sweetie!!!  I love you lots!

Love,

Mama

 

May 4th, 2012

Keep runnin’ and runnin’

I’ve been bitten by the Fitness bug and it feels G-R-R-R-R-REAT!!!  This past weekend, I participated in my very first 5K run. 

Have I ran before, you ask?  Nope. 

Have I been training to run?  Nah-uh.  Only for 2 weeks prior.

Was I crazy to even attempt this?  Probably. 

But I did.  And I finished.   And I wasn’t even last.  Wooohooooo!

February 15th, 2012

Oh no he didn’t…

I don’t like smart-mouth children.  Dislike it even more when it’s MY smart-mouth child.  And lately, this seems to be the case. 

How in the world can a four year old be so sarcastic and mouthy?  I mean, where does he get this from? 

*Slight pause* 

Okay, nevermind.  I know where he gets it from. *eye roll* 

But I didn’t think I’d have to deal with it until he was a teenager.  So the specialty of the week with Lil T (aka Smartmouth T) is his, “Why do you keep asking me if you don’t listen to what I say” shpiel.  Let me give you an example.

Me:  “T, do you want your gloves?  It’s really cold.

Lil T:  “No thank you.”

Me:  “Well, I think you should put them on because your hands will be freezing.”

Lil T:  “Why do you ask me if I tell you no and you tell me to do what you want anyway.  I already said no” with a sigh and a HUGE eye roll.

Me:  “Just put them on please.” 

Some more sighing and more eye rolling.

or

Me:  “Do you want to eat one more nugget?”

Lil T:  “No, I ate 2 already.”

Me:  “You’ll be hungry later.  Eat one more and you’re done.”

Lil T:  “Mommie, you did it again.  How come you ask me but don’t listen…”  blah, blah, blah.

Okay, first off…he’s right.  Why the heck did I do that? 

He is definitely right.  I guess I just don’t like Mr. Smartmouth pointing it out to me.  So back to his question, why DO I do that?  Ummm.  I HAVE NO CLUE!  Blame it on some internal motherhood schizophrenia.  You know, on one hand you want to be fair and give them the opportunity to think on their own and make their own decisions so you ask them.  But on the other hand, you still want to be in charge and you’re hoping they would answer the way you want them to answer.  And when they don’t, you tell them what you want to hear.  Yea I know, PSYCHO!  But it’s true.  As much as I want him to make his own decision and to think for himself in certain situations, there’s that part of me that doesn’t want to fully relinquish control (the controlling, anal, OCD me).  And he’s caught on to it.  Dammit.

So I answer as only a mother can answer in these situations.

“Because I’m your mother.  And I said so.”

Just kidding, I didn’t.  I sure as heck did want to, but I didn’t.  Instead, I apologized.  Yes, I did the motherly thing.  I admitted that I was wrong and he was right.  And I would try my best not to do that again. 

At least, until the next time…I do it again. 

What?

He always tells me he’ll pick up his toys when he’s done playing.  And when does THAT really happen???