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The Sweet Life

Soccer Mom Wannabe!

Soccer is our first team sport.  Prior to this we've attempted golf lessons, Tae Kwon Do and swimming and so far we’ve only been successful with Tae Kwon Do.  And by successful, I mean my son absolutely loves it.  But, when I got an email from a friend letting me know her son was coaching soccer, I was thrilled to enroll Rohan.

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It may be soccer season but there are always cakes to be made!

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And cookies of course!  

I was just as happy to discover that Asha's good friend's father was coaching her age group, so I enrolled her as well.  I was surprised at how little I knew about a sport that is so popular worldwide, and a sport I've grown up around...but as I wandered through the aisles at Target and a local sports specialty store looking for a size 3 soccer ball and shin guards which were so varied, that I made three phone calls to determine the best ones to buy.  I stopped at a local sports specialty store where the salesperson sent me to Wal-Mart, she told me to wait at least one season before spending too much on shin guards and cleats.  Smart young lady!  But I purchased the uniform along with the other items and feeling very well equipped with my picnic blanket in hand, traipsed off to the first game with my son.  As we were nearing the field, someone told the boys where to put their waters.  Ugh, I knew I didn't think of everything.  I ran back to the car and got a bottle of water, which was probably warm enough to bathe in, but hey, I had water.  As we approached the field, I was amused by: the portable chairs, tables, benches, umbrellas and coolers that accompanied the more seasoned soccer parents to the game.

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Rohan's first soccer practice

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All smiles at his first game

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Practice drills

I unfolded my picnic blanket and felt somewhat inadequate even though I did have everything I needed.  Fortunately, sitting on blankets beside me were some friendly faces and I settled in, ready for season one of soccer.  I'll let you know how the season actually unfolds in my next post!

soccer1.jpgA seasoned, well-equipped mom!

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Kindergarten: Two Tumultuous Days Down, One Year to Go

Everyone else's kid is smiling for their first day of school picture, what in the world is the problem with mine?  Unfortunately that was the least of my concerns trying to get Asha to just get on the school bus.  It started out well, she was excited to pick out a backpack, thrilled to possibly sit with her brother on the school bus and she picked out a new dress for her first day of school.

We shopped for lunch box snacks, we made back to school cookies and we talked about how lucky she was to go to a great school with a teacher we've heard so much about and with so kids from the neighborhood who will be at the same school.  It was all well and good until the first day.  

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She got up and dressed and she appeared somewhat excited until she came downstairs for breakfast.  Then she asked if she had to stay as long as Rohan (YES!), could I pick her up early (NO!), could she pick a day to miss (NO!), could I come and have lunch with her (NO!) and it went downhill from there.  She refused to give me that smiling shot that I wanted to capture.  My sister commented that it looked like a mug shot when I posted her picture holding the sign commemorating her special day.  I explained it was the best one I could get and I was not going to let that determine whether I chose to post her picture on Facebook!  

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091215.jpg"I'M NOT GOING!"

The walk to the bus was tentative at best as she decided en route that she did not want to go to school.  Then the tears and I started feeling tentative myself.  The kids at the bus stop rallied around her and she stopped long enough to try to climb a tree but then the bus rolled up a few minutes late and she tearfully refused to get on the bus.  I had flashbacks of going through this with my son...how come it's so easy for everyone else?  I was already sad about her being sad, the bus driver was late and Asha was determined not to get on so we walked home and her dad and I drove her to school as she tearfully told us how much she just did not want to go.

0912155.jpgClimbing a tree while waiting for a bus she never rode

Her tears never subsided as we walked to her classroom and they reached a new level once we got there.  She cried repeatedly, "Mommy please don't leave me."  As my sister would say, OMG, shoot me now.  It was heart breaking.  We tore ourselves away and went to wait for a few minutes down a hallway where I broke down too.  It's an awful feeling to leave your baby like in that state.  My husband was rational, his mantra was “it’s a great school, she has wonderful teacher, she'll be fine.”  We got a text an hour letter from her teacher telling us she was doing very well, we also heard from a friend who teaches at the school reporting the same thing.  That was a relief but it was still a nerve-wracking day.   When 3:30 pm came, her dad and I picked her up and her mood was entirely different. 

0912153.jpgSo much happier at pick-up!

Her first words when she saw us, "No homework but we got candy (Hershey's Kisses since they read "The Kissing Hand"), best day ever!"  So I wasted my day being down in the dumps for nothing?  She was ebullient and happy to talk about her day and how much fun she had.  Whew, what a relief!

0912154.jpgShe was unwilling but her patient teacher got a picture and a smile at orientation

Until the next morning that is...she was slightly congested "because a girl named Daisy had a croupy cough and sat next to her" so she didn't think she could go to school.  I took her temperature twice, it was fine.  We gave her some Afrin for her sniffles, there was no cough at all and told her she had to go.  The tears were immediate; she was not going to take off her pajamas.  She was not going to go...again, she refused to even leave the house for the bus but I drove her to school.  Again, she was crying when I left and again, I was down in the dumps all day worrying about her.  We heard she was fine and her brother checked up on her.  She was good when I picked her up but after two days of school, it's the weekend and next week we'll have five days plus her dad will be out of town. 

I'm dreading it but I know I'll put on a good front and of course she loves it once she gets there.  She won't take the bus and I'm fine driving her although my husband thinks we should just carry her on like we did with our son.  If he does that, I don't think I can watch.  All I know is she is happy once she is there but she never wants to go back and she cries every morning.  She tears up every time we talk about her going to school and she has said she'll lock herself in her room forever so she never has to go...only five years old and so much drama.  I'm going to try to enjoy Sunday but I'm dreading Monday morning. 

0912156.jpgLunchbox surprise cookies - ironic considering she never rode the bus!

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Kindergarten...is she ready?

backtoschoolcookies.jpgMy baby goes to kindergarten next week.  No just one of my babies but my youngest child.  My daughter who hates long car rides, who gets really tired by the early afternoon, who falls asleep anywhere and everywhere once her fatigue hits, who loves to eat at home so much that she never elects to eat out, even on her birthday, who gets shy when she first meets people but is friendly and okindgartengradcookies.jpgCookies for Preschool Graduation Classesutgoing once she makes a friend.

 

My daughter who won't wear the nice sandals her fashion-forward aunt sent her but instead she wears tennis shoes every day even with the prettiest of dresses.  She won't walk barefoot and she wears socks ALL the time, yes…even to bed.  She spends so much time trying to "flatten" the top of her hair and tame down her curls that I think I need to embrace mine more instead of drying my hair out straight so often.  My baby who still loves her stuffed animals and will choose to buy one over anything else at every given opportunity.  monstercard_1.jpgA monster card...score!My kind-hearted girl who loves monsters and aliens because “no one else does.”  She is the most pleasant girl in the world until fatigue or hunger hits; after which her voice and cranky factor increase...an unfortunate trait she inherited from her mother. 

 

Asha loves to surprise us by making the beds, even those in which she doesn't sleep.  She makes cards and pictures to greet her dad when he comes home from business trips Reeya.jpgHappy with anything soft and cuddlyand she fills empty boxes from the recycling bin with stickers, pictures and crayons as presents for us.  She picks flowers for me on her walks and she spends time with me helping in the garden.  She's always willing to compromise with her brother. She loves small spaces and hidden alcoves and I often find her under a desk or in a closed in corner of a room where she'll sit surrounded by her stuffed animals and a cozy pile of blankets.  At only five years of age, she loves to "face time" her cousin Sophia and her friend Ellie.  With the girls on the other end of the iPad, they have tea parties and make crafts.  I'm amazed at how close she is to her cousin considering they live over an hour away but technology is going already changing the face of this generation. 
 
In preparation for kindergarten, she has been doing her "homework" which is a workbook I got for her.  She loved doing homework while her brother did his last year, so she's been through a few workbooks but yesterday she finished an entire pre-K workbook that shreeyaorientationkindergarten.jpgTentative right before kindergarten orientatione's worked in all summer, so she feels confident that she's ready now for school.  Except that she's "nervous" because it's such a big school.  She's excited to see her brother there and she really wants to sit next to him on the bus; if only he was equally excited about that (I think he secretly likes it but he won't admit it to her!). She's thrilled to have a backpack she picked out but she is worried about being gone for so long.  Preschool ended before lunch and she's never been away from home all day so this will be a first. 

So much is new and different for my baby.  As for me...well I'm far more relaxed, prepared and calm about it than I was two years ago when my son started school as you will see from this post http://bit.ly/18mgKE2.  Bukindergartengraduation.jpgPreschool Graduation, Sky's the Limit!t I'm not going to lie, the thought of BOTH kids being gone all day makes me sad.  It's a long school day and they are so young.  So as we prepare to go to orientation today, I'm going to hold my baby's hand and give it that squeeze she needs for confidence.  I'm going to point out all the wonderful things about school and then I'm going to try not to cry.

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Please Don't teach My Child THAT Word!

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Chalkboard Cookies

School is great for learning but there is nothing like watching your child's innocence wither away with exposure to school and other kids.  Being the rule follower that he is, Rohan does what he is told but first grade certainly has its fair share of exposure. 

Volunteering for just a short time each week, allows me to know my son’s classmates and understand his stories better.  I cringed once when I was sitting at a table and I heard Rohan tell his teacher that Chris said the 'S' word.  He then went on to explain, you know, “stupid.” 

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Bite-sized cookies for teachers, nurses and moms

 

I mouthed to my son to mind his own business and do his work; I certainly don't want to watch him tattletale.  He exclaimed out loud, "Mom, you're supposed to tell if someone says a bad word."  Great, now the entire class was paying attention.  Way to go mom!  But apparently he learned that day that stupid is not a good word, but it's not a bad word either.  It was such a revelation for him.  He said it a million times trying to explain it to his little sister, his grandparents and to my husband and me.  For at least two years he has said the 'S' word so he was excited to find out that it wasn't a bad word, which he always followed by 'it's not a good one either but you can say it!' 

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Double Decker Bus Cake Featuring the One-Year Old Birthday Boy and His Favorite Faces

Once the ‘S’ word fascination subsided, he started on the ‘what the?’ almost as though he was going to keep going but it ended right there, ‘what the?’  My brother heard this and told him stop right away, assuming of course that something else was coming, but again, Rishi explained, “that’s what you say when you really want to make a point, what the?”  I told him to say ‘what in the world’ instead, it means the same thing but sounds better.  Apparently, that’s not the way it goes and all the boys say ‘what the’ which is said by the way with a lot of emphasis so it’s really ‘WHAT THE?’  Still, I supposed it’s innocent enough, just very annoying.  But noooo, then just a couple of weeks ago he came up with one I was not expecting.

We were laying in bed reading stories and talking about his day.  I didn't show my shock when he told me that if you are mad at someone, all you do is hold up a finger and it's called the "f" word.  "That will tell them that you are really mad at them."  WHAT WHAT WHAT? 

I envisioned some rough kid on the playground telling him this but ironically it was a little girl who comes to school with a bow in her long flowing hair on a daily basis.  He couldn't quite remember the finger so he proceeded to hold them all up to show me what it should look like.  I try to be a cool mom, I really do - but I'm just not cool...not even remotely cool.  That's why I married my husband, he projects a much more palatable reaction...to most things anyway. 

But with my kids, I do try...  So when I told Rohan that we don't use that word and he reminded me it's not a word, it's a letter...I told him that it's a very bad way to express how you feel and we have words for that...as I tried to explain this, all while staying cool…I started feeling annoyed that my husband was traveling (again!) for work because surely he would know better how to address this.  I mean why does a seven-year old girl know this and why is she telling my sweet naive son? 

Sorry, I digress...okay so I told Rohan how lifting a finger is a very offensive and bad thing to do and you can get in a ton of trouble and make the other person feel really bad if you hold up a finger ever!  I’m sure there are probably better ways to address this but it was hard to think quickly as I lay there…one minute reading dinosaur books…the next minute trying to explain rude gestures.  Now I feel bad because he’s never mentioned it again, he has also never talked to my husband about it and I wonder if I shut him down or if he’s forgotten (doubtful knowing my son who has the memory of an elephant)? 

I did bring it up with some friends, trying to see what better experienced moms would do?  One suggested I tell him that he would be sent to the principal's office if he ever did that to anyone, another suggested that I let him know we don't do that in our house suggesting that different rules apply in different homes.  Seriously?  In whose home is THAT gesture allowed?

I mean geez...the 'f' word, in first grade, WTF?!!  And by that, I mean 'frick.'  And believe you me, I don't want my child to learn that word either!

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Smash Cake for a First Birthday

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Not Quite the Expected Spring Break in OBX

IMG_5898_5_.jpgComing home early meant more time to work on this bridal shower cakeI’ve heard about it for years, summers in the Outer Banks.  So many of our neighbors disappear for weeks in the summer and while I've heard about it, it wasn't appealing on a number of levels.  First of all, I don't really want to worry about cooking and linens and cleaning up after my kids...I do that at home, I want to be worry-free on vacation.  But over this year’s spring break we got a great offer, and it seemed like a good way to finally see what the fuss was all about.  A good friend, Kate, recently purchased a home in Pine Island, Outer Banks.

With the spacious outlay, swimming pool, proximity to the ocean, her firm IMG_5799_1_.jpgThe first and only sunny day at the beach. George, my handsome hubby and Rohanguarantee that we do not have to worry about linens or cleaning up and we'll just have take-out for dinner and make sandwiches for lunch, we couldn’t refuse!  In the two months Kate and her husband George have owned the house, she updated the bedding, purchased new furniture and familiarized herself with the places to visit, best restaurants, coffee shops, etc.  She proposed the trip as an opportunity to get away from our monotonous schedule and bring the kids to a new locale.  She has four children and she invited another friend, Christina, with her four children and of course my husband and me with our two kids. 

It was an eventful trip to say the least.  Upon arriving, we took a walk along the ocean and my kids were in heaven.  There were seashells galore on the beach.  Despite the IMG_5820_2_.jpgLounging in the morning...usually just me, the kids and coffee. Very relaxing, a definite highlight of staying in a house on vacation!cool weather, we spent an hour collecting shells.  Rohan was excited about the mermaid pockets or shark eggs; he also found a stingray shell.  Asha picked shells and then she wanted to build sandcastles and make sand angels.  With this much excitement on the first day, we were thrilled about beach time on the warmer days. 

Well as luck would have it warmer days would not arrive during our short stay. And? Of the ten kids in the house, one started throwing up the first day we arrived.  Then we found out that it wasn't the first time, he had been sick earlier as well.  We were nervous and torn, should we leave right away or take our chances and enjoy the stay?  We opted to warn our children to wash their hands frequently and be conscientious about not drinking from anyone's cup but their own.  Kate washed all the towels and blankets and did her best to sterilize what she could.  What a conundrum for any parent!  You get invited to the beach and one of your kids gets sick...what do you do?  Keep driving and hope for the best?  Or, turn around knowing the other three kids will go stir crazy over Spring Break especially with your husband out of town?  It's a dilemma...we all think we know what we'll do until we are put in that position. 

The next day we woke up to rainy bleak weather.  We took our kids out to see the town and have lunch.  In the afternoon, IMG_5817.jpgMore early risers, not your typical beach bonding but necessary in the rain!the men braved the beach with the kids while we ladies went shopping for a couple of hours.  I see these women often.  Our kids are in preschool together and we live in the same neighborhood.  We pop into each other’s homes with ease and I enjoy being around them.  But being away from home, just trying on clothes and chatting about life for a couple of hours on a carefree afternoon was such a pleasant intimacy.  It was a camaraderie that's difficult to experience when we're running through the hectic days of our lives. 

We returned to the beach house refreshed and with new clothes in hand only to experience a second child throwing up.  Oh boy...we had planned to leave the following day but it seemed like we were doomed to someone getting sick before we could make our exit.  Ironically, it was a sibling who was the second victim of the stomach bug.  Christina felt terrible and offered to watch all ten kids so the other adults could go out and enjoy a nice dinner.  She had barely finished making her offer when George was on the phone making a dinner reservation.  We had a delicious dinner at a popular local restaurant and we talked about issues again that rarely come up at home even though we have dinner often with this couple.  There is something about being on vacation that gives people license to delve into issues that seem far too heavy at home.  A very vibrant and raw dinner discussion later, we returned to find our children in pajamas ready for bed; one of mine was already asleep.   A little crazy but overall successful day I would say.

It's early in the morning on oIMG_5912_4_.jpgChalkboard cookies to match the vintage wedding-themed cake.ur last day here.  It's been far more interesting than I expected.  Despite rainy cool weather and more screen time for all the kids then should be necessary when vacationing at the beach, the kids did play well.  I hate to admit it but it’s not such a bad thing for the kids to play on the beach in long sleeves, my son prefers it that way.  It’s also not so bad that we couldn’t wear bathing suits all day long…I prefer it that way!  There were no major meltdowns except for one ten-year old who felt that in ten kids, he didn't have a single friend with whom to play...okay and the one child who fell off the banister onto the floor a level below…and there were a couple of other falls here and there.  There was adult drama too but none I'm free to blog about; let's just say that the salt air inspired many revelations, ones we may never talk about when we get back into the confines of our neighborhood.  It's just something about being in the Outer Banks...maybe that's why people keep coming back!

 

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About Ameeta

Moms of the world...we're in the kitchen all the time so why not make it fun...RIGHT?! After working in the field of higher education for over a decade, I decided to stay home. Being here is wonderful (sometimes!). BUT, I love the invaluable (read crazy but good) moments with my children. One thing I miss about work is having a creative outlet. Decorating cakes and cookies gives me that focus for my creativity. It's therapeutic to work on cakes, cookies and the like. As you will understand, with two young children, lots of therapy is necessary! Hence I've been baking more and more....and in my blog I'll be sharing my culinary adventures with you with a side serving of raising my two kids! For pictures and information about my confections, please visit my site at www.ameetabakes.com

 

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Pouches' Community Corner

Adoptive parents in Fredericksburg now have a new partner on their journey to a healthy family. In 2016, Children’s Home Society was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Social Services to extend their Richmond area post-adoptive services to the Fredericksburg area.

ChildrensHomeSociety

Now CHS is looking to find adoptive families in the area who need support before they hit a crisis point. “It doesn’t matter which agency they adopted from, or when that happened,” said Buckheit. “We want to offer a lifetime of support to adoptive families in the Fredericksburg area, especially those who haven’t been aware of our services in the past.”

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The opinions and/or views expressed on this blog represent the thoughts of individual blogger and not necessarily those of Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine or any of its employees or staff.