Wednesday, November 18, 2015


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


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. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

No gym?

No problem!

Making time to workout is not always easy. After Ryan was born I got into a slump and found every excuse not to workout. I'm too busy. I'm too tired. I'm too lazy!

For almost a year now I've gotten into a good routine and I feel great. One of my good friends starting teaching barre classes and as soon as I tried it, I was hooked. In addition to barre, I do their TRX and cardio kickboxing classes so I never get bored with the same class over and over. The best part is they offer free babysitting so the boys can come with me. We go three times a week and I think all three of us look forward to it. 

But things come up and I can't always make it to the gym so I try to find other ways to workout.  I walk as much as I can with the boys in the stroller. We walk to the Y for swim class. We walk downtown on the weekends for coffee and bagels. We walk the lake. I know some women out there are running with the double stroller and more power to them! Pushing 70 pounds is enough for me while walking, I can't even imagine running. 

I do like running, I just leave the kids at home! I'm definitely more of a jogger than a runner but I find it very peaceful. I love being outside in the sunshine and fresh air. I don't use headphones, I enjoy the rare peace and quiet. In the last few weeks I've even convinced Will to come with me on weekend runs and now we reay look forward to that time together. 

The kids definitely notice that exercise is a big part of mine and Will's life and I think that's important. They pretend to go to the gym, they imitate me and do planks and leg lifts and they love playing with our resistance bands. I want them to grow up being active. Going for walks and bike rides, swimming and hiking. I want them to know exercise can be fun and make you feel good. It doesn't have to be in a gym, it can be anywhere. This morning my mother in law was blowing bubbles and the boys were chasing them around the yard. After ten minutes, they were out of breath. In the yard, we race each other to the tree and back. And now that Nathan is older, he and I go for walks together. 

For me, exercise is a huge stress reliever. It gives me time to think things through and clear my head. It makes me feel good about myself and motivates me to push myself harder the next time. 

I hope Will and I are setting a good example for our kids. Showing them that it's important to find time for yourself and make your health a priority. In the meantime, at least we have very cute workout partners. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pretty as a picture

I am a Type A personality. I like things planned out and scheduled. I like routines. I like straight lines and neat piles. 

Once I had kids I lost a lot of that. I've accepted that my house will always be cluttered. That the laundry will never be caught up. That I'll be always be late (this one is the hardest for me). 

But I've tried to maintain some control. I can't go downstairs in the morning until my bed is made. I refuse to let dirty dishes sit in the sink overnight. And I sweep the floor multiple times a day, trying to keep up with the constant trail of crumbs my children drop on the floor when eating. 

Yesterday I discovered a new way to satisfy my obsessive need for order. Will has always been the one to do this particular household chore. I never had any interest in it and it just kind of became his job. But we were busy so I offered to do it. 

Yesterday I mowed the lawn for the first time. And OMG I discovered my happy hour. I loved everything about it. I was outside in the sunshine. Between the front, side and backyard I got more than 6,000 steps on my FitBit. Nobody was asking me for a drink or a snack. It was so peaceful. 

I loved seeing it go from messy to manicured in seconds. I loved the challenge of making the lines as straight as possible. For someone who loves things to be symmetrical, mowing the lawn provides instant gratification. I think I did a pretty good job for my first try and I'm already thinking of how I can improve the turning radius next time to get tighter turns. 

My house might be messy inside but damn it I have the ability to make my lawn look good! And for a former neat freak, that makes me very happy. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Now that Nathan can read and write, it's not unusual to find little notes like this all over the house. 

Nothing like a love note to brighten your day 

Nathan loved his Pre-K teacher Julie this year. 

On the last day of school he drew her a picture.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Proud Mama

End of school year progress report
Pre -K
5 years old 

Lunch is served

Some days I'm lucky if I can Ryan to eat anything besides goldfish crackers and yogurt.

Today for lunch he's eating a bowl of garlic hummus and raw veggies dipped in balsamic vinegar. 

Kids are weird.

Monday, June 8, 2015

One on one

I'm been trying to make more of an effort to have one on one time with Nathan. Ever since Ryan was born, it's rare for just the two of us to hang out. And when Ryan is around he gets more of the attention since Nathan is so much more independent and Ryan needs so much more help with everything.

Today I had to take my car to the mechanic and it was the perfect opportunity to bring Nathan along. He is obsessed with cars and loved watching the mechanics work. 

On our way home I made a detour and drove into town. I told Nathan we had to run a quick errand. Always an easygoing kid, Nathan didn't seem to mind. As we walked down Main St, he happily chattered away pointng out fire trucks and minivans, convertibles and SUVs. The kid is obsessed with vehicles.

When we reached our destination, Nathan looked up at me. His smile was so wide, his dimples so deep. We walked into D'Amicis bakery and were welcomed by case after case full of desserts. I told him he could pick whatever he wanted for our Mommy/Nathan date. 

He chose a rainbow frosted cupcake. I chose a cannoli. One chocolate milk and a cappuccino later and we settled in at a table by the window. For the next 30 minutes we sat and ate and talked.  Nathan loves his little brother and never complains about having him around all the time but I think it's nice for him to have some time where all the attention is on him. No interruptions. No distractions. 

And I like having a special date with my perfect gentleman every so often.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

When you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Sometimes the only way I can get Ryan to wear a bib is to also wear a bib.

I've learned to pick my battles. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Happy anniversary

A lot has changed in 7 years. 

Late nights turned into early mornings. 

An apartment in the city turned into a house in the suburbs. 

And just the two of us turned into a family of four. 

You are my best friend. You always make me laugh. You always make me feel beautiful. I couldn't ask for a better partner to share this crazy life with. 

Cheers to seven years and many more.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Where in the world

is Nathan Chen sleeping????

Nathan is going through a new phase. Sometime between his bedtime and ours, he wanders out of his room. Most nights we hear him tiptoe out of his room shortly after we tuck him in. He slowly creeps downstairs, step by step, peeking his head around the corner until we make eye contact from the living room. 

He asks for a drink of water. He tells us he's hot. Sometimes he gets very creative like the other night when he asked "Mommy, did you call my name? I thought I heard someone say Nathan."

I think it's sweet that he wants to be near us and we know the time will come when we miss this cute phase. So we get him a drink, or go pull the blanket off his bed, or convince him we didn't call his name.

But after we give him another kiss goodnight and tuck him into bed for the second time of the night, we tell him its late and we don't want to hear him come out of his room again. 

Does he listen? Well on one hand, we don't hear him. But on the other hand, we have come up to bed later that night to discover that he did in fact leave his room again. Instead of being in his bed, we have been finding him sleeping in some..... unusual places. 

I'm not sure how long his phase will last but I'm choosing to see the humor in the situation. It adds a little excitement to an otherwise typical night at home. Where oh where will we find Nathan sleeping tonight?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Stay at home mom problems

When you can't remember the last time you took a shower.... It's time to take a shower 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Glass half empty - road work outside my bedroom window at 6 am

Glass half full - free entertainment while I shower and get dressed 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My hungry little boy

Today for breakfast, Ryan ate:

A bowl of yogurt
Two hard boiled eggs
A bowl of oatmeal
A clementine

He's only two. I better start saving my pennies for when he's a teenager. 

not sure how long this phase will last.