Tag Archives: kids

A Love All His Own

11 Jul

It’s hard not to pass on your love of something to your children. The same applies for your dislike of something. For example, I loved Disney movies growing up and I still do. I’m sure it played a part of Nia’s love for them. I am not a fan of the Bratz dolls. That’s probably why Nia only has two of them compared to her entire toy store aisle amount of Barbies. Andrew and I enjoyed collecting the Thomas trains for Nate. It was inevitable that it would lead to Nate’s love for the cheeky engine. There’s pretty much only one love that we didn’t pass down to our kids, Nate’s passion for baseball.

His Favorite

The little man loves this sport and it’s all his own doing. He watches it on tv. He acts like he’s pitching, catching and hitting without a ball. He wants to play all the time. He actually intensely watches the players when we take him to a game. He proudly states that he’s going to play for the Gwinnett Braves when he grows up. (He doesn’t quite understand yet that he may want to shoot for the Major League team but that’s ok.) He mimics the real players in his stances, head tilts, wind up and hat adjustment.

The only part of Nate’s passion that Andrew did influence is his love/hate for certain teams. Because Andrew’s favorite team is the Orioles, Nate loves the Orioles. Because Andrew detests the Yankees, Nate boos the Yankees. Hey, why not? The boy needs some guidance.

Little Gamers

5 Jul

I’m afraid we’ve created a video game monster.

Sure, I’ve played my fair share of video games and I still enjoy a good Wii game or old school board or two of Super Mario Bros. but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t four years old when it all started for me.

With Nia, we waited until she was six to have video games. She got a Nintendo DS with a few games that leaned more toward educational than toward gold coins and flying fire balls. I wanted to do the same for Nate.  Wait until he’s six.  What I didn’t consider is that he has the older sibling who has the games and then he also found my Nintendo Advance from back in the day (um, ok maybe I was in my 20’s).

Now, he wants to play the Advance, her DS or the Wii every non-baseball playing chance he gets. I’ve set limits on the amount he can play each day but I still worry. I even give him little hope-you’re-not-a-video-game-zombie tests. I hold up my hands to him, “Nate, how many I’m I holding up.” “Five,” he says without counting. “Nate, how do you spell love?” “L-O-V-E,” he replies without hitting pause.

Just want to make sure those brain cells are still in top shape.

Wee Wii Players

Daddy Day

20 Jun

He could go golfing. He could watch ESPN all day. He could nap. He could do anything he wants on his day off but he chooses, he wants, to make it daddy day.

Andrew started a new schedule at work that allows him to work 80 hours in 9 days instead of 10 days. That means one day devoted to daddy and the kiddos.

He takes them to the pool.

After Swim Snack

He doesn’t send them away from the area if he has a home project to work on, like our new patio furniture.  He lets them help if they want and patiently answers all their questions about what he’s doing. (What’s this piece for? And this piece? And this piece? Why does that go there? …)

Relaxing After Hard Work

He catches the kids’ favorite tv shows with them – Phineas and Ferb, SpongeBob SquarePants and Kick Buttowksi.

TV Time (aka Tuckered Out Time)

He lets them mess up the house in all their fun and is so courteous to let me see that fun scattered on the floor and overflowing from their rooms when I come home from work. (Just kidding! It’s only a little bit a fun aftermath.)

Daddy day is really so much more than just the time mommy is at work though.

He has a special way of fixing small boo-boos when they happen. Me, I just kiss them to make them feel better. Him? Well, if they scrape their knee, he lifts their arm and checks under it. He looks in their ears. He tells them to do something silly that turns their tears into a fit of giggles.

He loves to cook for them any chance he gets. Daddy’s chicken. Daddy’s smiley face pancakes. Daddy’s waffles with peanut butter. Sometimes, they get sad if daddy isn’t the chef.

He always makes it a point to bring them souvenirs from his work trips. A giant pencil that had San Antonio facts written all over it was especially cherished.

He once ran the length of the house and jumped a flight of split level steps because he heard Nate yelling for help as his fingers slipped from a monkey bar. He made it there in time to catch the little man. Awesome.

He is so very appreciated. He is so very loved. Happy Father’s Day, Andrew. You are our favorite.

Happy for Daddy Day

With Love

Dancing Bean

15 Jun

I have such fond memories of dancing when I was a little girl. I was a Steel City Strutter and loved marching in parades  and getting covered with blue eyeshadow and red lipstick for recitals. My mom tells stories of the time I yelled to our neighbor from the stage, “Hi, Jimmy!”

Nia the Tapper

I loved to dance but I was never the best. Just average. I had a lot of heart and really tried to remember all the steps and hit them on beat. Nia, though, is such a different dancer.

She took the stage for her first recital last weekend and she did so well! She got a little nervous during her first performance when the audience laughed at how cute she and her “fluffy powder puff” friends were but she didn’t give up. Under the bright lights, in front of all those people, she kept going. How did she not freeze up there? Where did she find that bravery? She went on to nail her other three performances and had such a great time.

I watched my little girl grow up a little more that day. She didn’t need mommy as much as the night went on. After each performance, I would rush backstage to help her change costumes but I would find her already getting ready without me. I’m so proud of her. Not only did she do such a wonderful job on stage, she acted like all the prep was no big deal. While I was a bag of nerves, she was cool and gave me the feeling of “I got this, Mom.”

Our little dancing Bean. You make my heart so happy. I can tell, dancing makes yours happy too.

I Feel Good – Tap Routine and Nia’s Favorite
Fluffy Powder Puff – Ballet Routine

Livin’ for Friday – Already?

12 Mar

Working for the weekend, it’s such a common thing: Is it Friday yet? It’s almost Friday. Just two more days until Friday! Don’t worry about your bad day – it’s Friday! T.G.I.F.!

There’s really no harm in it. What’s so wrong with looking forward to the day before your days off? Can you remember when you first started cheering for it? It seems it starts younger than I thought/remember.

The kids are already being trained to have those same feelings. If Nate gets through the week with good behavior, he gets to bring something for show and tell on Friday. Friday is shop at the junk “store” day in Nia’s class. Friday is no homework day. Friday is stay up late(r) day.

I can’t really explain why (and it’s not a major deal) but it made me feel a little sad for them. I just want them to grow up looking forward to each new day. Not just the end of many days.

Hereditary Hulk Hatred?

24 Feb

I don’t remember a ton about being little. I’m told stories about how I would scream like a madwoman when my mom brushed my waist-long hair. I loved playing Barbies and would get lost for hours in my Barbie world. I collected unicorns and had a beloved Dino Flintstone stuffed animal that my mom would use to wake me up every morning. I hated the Incredible Hulk.

Now, maybe hate is the wrong word. I more, lived in fear of Hulk. My mom says if it came on television, she would frantically change the channel or yell from the other room for the person closest to the television to, “change it, change it!” I remember once at my Grandma Rafiani’s house, I hid under the couch cushions as I waited for someone to rescue me from the growling, green fury with glowing eyes.

It seems my dislike for the green one has been passed down to our little man. I never voiced my fear of Hulk around Nate. His feelings were not influenced by mine and are unique from mine in that he can watch the cartoon and loves to play with his tiny Hulk toy – during the day that is.

At night, this is what happens to the glow-in-the-dark, plastic superhero:

Andrew tried for three nights to catch Nate on the hidden camera. He thinks it’s so funny how Nate doesn’t just place Hulk outside his door, he walks Hulk to the back of the couch and perches him on top, facing the stairs. Catching Nate on camera involved some pretty sneaky work on our part. We had to get Nate to bed without him noticing Hulk in his room. If he noticed, he would say, “Mommy, Hulk.” Andrew left Nate’s bedroom light on for as long as he could as he tucked Nate in, said prayers, gave kisses … Then, Andrew hurried me downstairs as he pressed record. When he finally succeeded in capturing Nate banishing Hulk on camera, Andrew came dancing downstairs, ecstatic about what he was about to see.

I love how Nate is so determined to make Hulk stand on the couch. He’s concentrating so hard – biting his tongue, brow furrowed. Kind of like his daddy was as he carried out his hidden camera plan. 

I guess Nate really takes after both of us. (After all, Andrew actually liked watching Hulk.)

And So It Begins (well, sort of)

22 Feb

It’s a common theme for a love story. Boy meets girl. Boy asks for girl’s phone number. Boy calls girl. Boy and girl don’t speak until girl hands the phone to her dad and says, “I don’t want to talk to him right now. I’ll talk to him tomorrow.” Oh yeah, did I mention that boy and girl are only six years old?

So far, Nia has collected the digits of four boys in her class. Only she knows how many boys she graced with her number – likely the lone thing written on a large sheet of copy paper or barely fitting on a piece of ripped notebook paper.

I’m sure this number exchange is happening because many of them have just fully memorized their phone numbers so they are excited about sharing this information with others. I also realize that these boys dig Nia and Nia digs them.


“Can Nia come over to my house?” This is what “Brian” asks Andrew when he calls. Andrew’s response involved, “I don’t even know who this is or where you live.” Andrew also spoke with Brian’s mom who informed him that Brian had been asking to call Nia all weekend.

When Andrew finally gives the phone to Nia – Brian says nothing to Nia and she says nothing to him. Zip.

This is what makes it all so funny to me. They are handing out their phone numbers left and right but they do not even really know how to talk on the phone – to anyone – properly yet. Another boy left her a voicemail a few weeks ago. It went like this, “Heeey. Is is reeeek. Call me baaaack.”


Maybe they should just facebook her?

Holiday Happiness 2009

25 Dec

Until the Magic Disappears

9 Dec

The other day I found myself wondering – if Andrew and I don’t buy presents for the kids on Christmas – will they be there anyway? What if we test it? What if the the big guy really does exist but since we take care of the gift buying, the wrapping and the placing under the tree (we even eat the jolly old elf’s cookies that kids made for him), maybe he just doesn’t show up because he’s not needed (and we ate half of his treats)? It could be true right? If you believe?

Yeah, I must be the parent of a six and three year old. Their undoubting belief in Santa is very powerful. Nia reminds me each day that the “Elf on the Shelf” is watching and that he flies messages to Santa. When I took the kids to see Santa at the mall this year, Nate ran up to him and jumped in his lap, wrapping his arms around him. He did it without hesitation. He did it with love in his heart and excitement for the wonder that Santa brings. I stood there with tears in my eyes. Adult strangers waiting in line for their child’s photo stood there with tears in their eyes.

Christmas 2009

Nate’s reaction did more than touch my heart though, it also broke it a little. Because I know – it’s all a lie. This is not the first time I’ve expressed my concerns about telling the tale. Many of us have our cherished memories of believing in Santa but then we also have our nightmare stories about how we all “found out.” We know how old we were. We know where we found out. We still feel the twinge of pain when we think about our terrible discovery. And then, we grow up and do it to our kids!

I suppose it’s because the moments like I just experienced with Nate far outweigh the moment of “finding out.” His happiness and love for the stranger hiding behind a white beard and red velvet suit made me want to believe again. (Plus, he was a really good Santa!) Part of me hopes to find a mysterious present under the tree for me – special delivery from the North Pole.

Baseball Highlights

1 Sep

Capturing some family fun swinging away:

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