Happy Friendsgiving

Happy Friendsgiving everyone!  For anyone unfamiliar with this term…Thanksgiving + Friends = Friendsgiving.  🙂  We celebrated our first Friendsgiving last year when the exorbitant holiday airfare and the proximity to Christmas travel plans left us deciding to stay in New England for Thanksgiving.  Luckily we had some good friends who had made the same decision and were very excited to host Thanksgiving dinner at their house.

So on Thanksgiving morning last year, Kiki and I went to town with our potato mashers making buttery homemade mashed potatoes.  Then we packed up the pumpkin bread that we had made the day before and our family headed over to our friends’ house.  We were greeted at their house by the delicious aroma of beef tenderloin.  Our friends are vegans and decided that if they’re going to have meat, they didn’t want to waste it on turkey.  They really wanted to make beef tenderloin instead.  Hey, if they want to serve us delectable cuts of red meat, who are we to argue?

Kiki and her good friend Anna proceeded to play and gorge themselves on appetizers while the adults prepped for dinner and drank wine (and gorged ourselves on appetizers).  Then we gathered at a table overflowing with food and enjoyed our meal.  And once the kids got antsy we put on a movie for them to watch while the adults lazily finished our meal and then cleaned up.  Once all the dishes were cleared we put on our coats and took a leisurely stroll to the playground and enjoyed the crisp November day.

On the half-mile journey in the car back to our house, Hubby and I decided that we would be doing this again next year.

We love our families, of course, but it was so relaxing to just be here with our friends.  We didn’t have to pack.  We didn’t have to get to the airport.  We didn’t have to worry about making sure we split our time fairly between my family and his.  And did I mention we didn’t have to pack?

I’m so excited to be celebrating our second annual Friendsgiving today.  This year we’re adding a British contingency to our group.  We have some good friends who moved here last December from London who will be celebrating their first Thanksgiving with us.  We’re excited to introduce our friends to the gluttony that is Thanksgiving.

 
Whether you are celebrating with friends or with family, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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The quirky ones are the best ones

Little Rose’s quirkiness, or personality I should say, is starting to shine stronger than ever these days. As she crawls towards her first birthday more of her preferences and habits are coming out. Her parents have unique and strong personalities so none of this is a surprise. In fact, it is a riot. Getting glimpses into what makes little Rose tick is my new favorite thing to look for and observe each day. So far, they include:

  • Her favorite food is butternut squash. LOVES it. I mean, really REALLY loves it.
  • She is most often seen scooting around holding her socks. Socks. She is obsessed and finds them somewhere and holds on to them whenever possible.
  • Suspense. She will giggle at anything that is delayed from the previous rhythm. It’s how she gets her kicks.
  • She already has some sweet dance moves which she will display when particularly proud of herself for walking, standing or dropping food on the ground.
  • All she wants to do lately is read. Surrounded by books, leafing through them and talking to herself. Occasionally she’ll let us read some of the stories to her but most of the time she prefers solo-reading.
  • Crouching to look under furniture. As though there is often lots of activity under there. But she looks so cute in the downward-dog-crouch. I love it.
  • Open mouth kisses. The sloppiest and sweetest gift we can’t get enough of.

I’m sure most of these things are quite common but I’m thinking the socks thing is fairly out there, right? Anyways, we don’t care. She is unique and special and hilarious. She must take after her mother….

MumsySus

Preschool Logic

My husband used to make fun of me for trying to reason with my daughter.  I would try to calmly explain to her why it was just plain illogical for her to be having a temper tantrum about the fact that I wouldn’t let her hold the steak knife.  It was a steak knife, after all, and she was just 2.  It wasn’t safe and she had no good reason to be holding the steak knife.  Bewilderingly, my pleas for my daughter to listen to logic were not heard.  She would continue to fuss even in the face of indisputable evidence that the fuss was not necessary.

I’m happy to say now that Kiki has entered into a new phase of her life where logic reigns supreme.  Ok, maybe not supreme, but at least it’s now considered.  I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.  It comes in particularly handy when I’m trying to get my daugher out the door.

Me:  Kiki, we need to leave for preschool.

Kiki:  I don’t want to go.  I want to keep playing.

Me:  I know, but if we don’t leave now then you’ll be late for circle time.

Kiki:  I don’t mind if I’m late for circle time.  I want to play a little more.

Me:  Ok, but last time when you were late for circle time you missed your teacher giving out jobs for the day and you didn’t get a job.

Kiki:  Hm.  I do really want to be Bell Ringer.  Maybe we should go.

I’m totally taking advantage of appealing to my daughter’s new sense of logic but she is also taking advantage of appealing to mine.

Me:  Kiki, we need to leave for gymnastics.  (side note:  have you noticed that most of our battles have to do with leaving the house?)

Kiki:  I don’t want to go.  I want to play for a few more minutes.

Me:  I already let you play for as long as possible.  If we don’t leave now, we’ll be late for class.

Kiki:  Mommy, all you do is sit and watch the class.  I’m the one who actually does the gymnastics.  So if I don’t care about being late, then you shouldn’t either.

Wow.  Ok.  Fair point.

Her more mature brain also means there aren’t as many easy outs for me any more.  She calls me out on things all the time.

Me:  Would you rather go to family swim this afternoon or to the playground?

Kiki:  Both.

Me:  We can’t do both.  You need to pick one.

Kiki:  Sure we can.  We go to family swim first and then to the playground because playgrounds don’t close.

Boom.  You’ve been logiced, Mommy.

Even though logic abounds lately, there are times when Kiki reverts to her old irrational ways.  This usually happens when she is hungry or tired.

Kiki:  Mom I want a snack.

Me:  Sorry sweetie, I don’t have one with me in the car.  You’ll have to wait til we get home.

Kiki:  But I’m hungry and I really want one.

Me:  I understand that, but I don’t have one.

Kiki:  But I’m huuuungrrrry.

Me:  I hear you but honey I don’t have one.  Complaining about it isn’t going to make a snack magically appear.

Kiki:  But I wannnnnntttt onnnnne.  I’m sooooo huuuunnnngrrry.

Me:  Please sweetie.

Kiki:  I want a snnnaaaaaccck.  I can’t wait.  I want onnnnnne noooowwwwww!!!

Boom.  You’ve been preschooled, Mommy.

The Years Are Short

Tomorrow my “baby” turns four. The last four years have played out EXACTLY as that saying goes…the days are long, but the years are short.
Some parts of me desperately don’t want her to grow another year older, and other parts of me are thrilled for her. If you know her, you know how special she is. Maybe everyone feels this way about their children, but I truly believe she is bound for greatness. She somehow managed to get all the good parts of both myself and her father. She is ridiculously smart and has the memory of an elephant. She is giving and kind and supremely thoughtful. Her younger sister adores her and she is an amazing big sister. She is all I could ever ask for in a child.
I feel so blessed to get to spend my time with her. There really is no one else on earth I’d rather hang out with. I keep thinking that being a mom to this marvelous creature can’t get any better, and then it does. These have been the most fabulous four years of my life. She has let me see life in a way that I never thought was possible.
We’ve got chicken nuggets, tator tots and cake on the menu for dinner tomorrow night and then her “kid” party is on Friday! It’s a big week in our house.
Happy 4th birthday my love!

PRESCHOOL DRAMA

So – this is what has been going on in my life this week:  PRESCHOOL DRAMA!!  I hate to say it, but it’s true.  LM, who is 3 going on 15, is in a classroom with a teacher that I am not thrilled with.  Since the first day of drop-off I had a “not so great” feeling about the greeting.  No one welcomed her, said good morning, guided her to an activity, etc..  I guess my little baby is growing up, I chalked it up to; it is time to be more independent in school.

Come my first work morning (it is a parent cooperative and we all take turns spending time in the classroom helping out and supporting our children).  Said teacher (from now on called T) has a very uncomfortable interaction with a little girl fiddling with her necklace during circle time.  In my humble opinion, which some respect as experienced in early childhood development, fiddling with a necklace is an APPROPRIATE 3 year old tool to help one sit still.  T admonished the behavior, in a shaming approach, and when the little girl cried she was ignored.  What would you do?  Address it?  Talk to T?  Talk to the director?  Tell the other parent?  What if you were friends with that other parent?  What if you weren’t?

Well, I did what I thought was right and we moved forward.  LM would complain about T – “I don’t like T”, “T is mean”.  This is unusual sentiment for LM.  Though never an eager beaver about school she has liked most adults in her life.  Nevertheless, she enjoyed her friends and didn’t complain too much.

Fast forward to last Thursday.  LM comes home VERY behavioral.  After a lot of talking she communicates that T had grabbed her face and “smooshed” her cheeks while reprimanding her for hitting another boy on the playground.  She added that he “holds her down to be still” at naptime.  When asked if he does this to anyone else she names another child in the classroom.  Now what?  What would you do?  We took necessary action and had her classroom switched.  T admits to both those actions, though sees no problem with the behavior.   Now there are questions from other parents.  What would you say?  Would you be open with friends?  What about other parents in the classroom?  What about the other child LM mentioned?  Do you tell his parents?  What if you are good friends with them?  What if you don’t know them at all?

This has been a most stressful week.  A week full of questions, ethics, and action.  At the end of the day, we all just have to do what we think is right, right?

Both kids are home today

Husband is home from work today to have a daddy/daughter day. How cute is that? He printed off maps of new hikes to go on and has a long list of adventures and activities that will fill their day. I don’t blame him for wanting to squeeze in some one on one time with our little bundle. She is so fun, cute and growing and changing so quickly I think we are both trying to soak up as much time with her as possible. If there was a pause button, we’d be hitting it now just to cruise a little bit with our pre-walker who waves with gusto, giggles easily, plays with her books on her own regularly and always looks thrilled to see us. I know things will keep getting better but it is so hard to picture it being any better than it is RIGHT NOW.

So we are milking it. Reading that extra book before putting her down. Building in extra time for her to play in the bath. Leaving work early when we can. Taking a break during chores to play an impromptu game of peek-a-boo. And trying to take a million photos and videos to try to capture the miracle of each and every moment with this little rascal.

So husband gets to spend the day with her and as tempting as it is to sneak downstairs (I work from home on the 3rd floor) to see what they are doing and to squeeze in a cuddle. I’m giving them their space. I know how precious this time is for both daddy and daughter.

Well maybe I’ll just pop down for a minute…. 

MumsySus

Conversations With My 4 Year-Old: Entry 2

In the car on the way home after a busy morning….

Me:  Kiki, I think we should watch a movie when we get home.

Kiki:  Yeah!

Me:  Sweet.

Kiki:  Tell me what movie you want to watch Mommy and I’ll make it happen.

Me (laughing hysterically):  Did you just say you’ll “make it happen”?

Kiki:  Yep.  So what would you like to watch?

Me (still laughing): How bout Toy Story?

Kiki:  Done.

Me:  You’re hilarious, sweetheart.

Kiki:  I know.  But I’ve actually just decided I’d rather watch a tv show than a movie.  Sorry Mom.  Maybe you can watch Toy Story next time.