Category Archives milestone

Eleven Years

Dear NHL,

Eleven years ago today, you decided that you wanted to surprise us by arriving a few weeks early. That moment you showed how you were going to lead us into a new and exciting world. Being your mother has been an amazing and loving journey. Of course, I have to admit that it has also been an adventure like no other. For some reason, nobody ever tells you that parenting comes with no instructions and you kind of make it up as you go along. I am blowing my cover now, but at eleven years old I need to confess. Here we go, I admit that being a perfect parent is impossible and I know I will no doubt mess up as we continue along.

First time mother

NHL, you are an amazing young boy. You constantly amaze me with how smart and in tune you are with parts of the world around you. Not only are you a math whiz, but you get principles of science, love learning about people, places, and things from history and crave academic knowledge to share with everyone. Even when things were tough this year with so many changes in the educational world, you did your best to work through it. You finished elementary school and are waiting to begin your middle school years. Please know that while it may be a big transition this year, it is one that everyone goes through and it will make you stronger. Each and every bump along this road will help you to become a better person, please remember that.

 11th Birthday Wishes

Always know that you can come to me and tell me anything and everything so I can help you. This year you did that after something big had happened and I listened. It took us a while to fix the problem, but we did it together thanks to you opening up to me and standing up for yourself. It was a proud moment and together we can make a difference by being advocates together.

While I could go on and on about items that you did over the last year, like I have done for the last eight years, I know you are more private now. I am giving you space to help me to figure out what to share in my blog. I respect that because it is not always mine to write about. Perhaps you would like to help and write your views one day instead.

On that note, I wish you only the best now and forever. You will always be my baby and I will be standing by your side cheering you on as you show everyone around you how you will spread your wings and fly high. Nothing can stop you if you stay focused, do your best, and believe in yourself.

Love,

Mom

Past B-day posts to NHL:

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Thirteen Years with TechyDad

Thirteen years ago, I woke up and knew my world would be changing. After months of planning, it was time to get ready to be the bride on our magical wedding day. I still remember walking into our synagogue early that afternoon to prepare for photos and our ceremony under the chuppah. Most of the day was a blur, except that I can still see the smile on TechyDad’s face. Yes, thirteen years later I can still picture my husband’s face when he saw me walk out in my dress for the first time.

Our wedding table

There are days when I wonder where the time has gone because it seems like only yesterday when we were going to different florists, checking out caterers, and planning our magical Walt Disney World Honeymoon. While there are times that I miss those more simple days when we were newlyweds with few cares in the world, I would not change a thing. We have had our adventures together and we have two beautiful boys who are growing up before our eyes.

What I did realize when going to write this post is that we need to take more photos of US. Perhaps we make it a project for the boys. The two of us need to get out from behind the camera and document being a couple, not just TheAngelForever/Mom and TechyDad/Dad.

Thirteen years and counting

JL, thank you for accepting my Eeyore moments trying to make me willfully say Allons-y a bit more. I love you with all of my heart and look forward to adding more memories to our 13 years of being husband and wife.

It's Me

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Moving Up to Middle School

Moving up to middle school from elementary school is a huge milestone for children and parents alike. I still vividly recall that time in my childhood. After being in the same school from kindergarten to sixth grade, it was hard to move forward. I remember signing yearbooks, the last week of celebration with friends, and the tears because not everyone would be going to the same middle school.

Fifth Grade Moving Up Ceremony

I have spent additional time in middle school since I moved on to high school and beyond.  As a teacher, I had an eighth grade homeroom and taught students from sixth to eighth grade. I witnessed this confusing time period from the teacher perspective. To say that it was an eye opening experience would be an understatement. I do believe it helped me a lot in my life at home.

Now, I am going to finish the trifecta of middle school milestones. My oldest will be moving up from fifth grade at the end of this school year. NHL will be an official middle school student going to a much bigger school.

Trying to get NHL ready and not scare him about the changes is the goal for this summer. We are going to make the most of the time together. He will be busy at camp for some of the days. Other times, we will frequent events at the library, museums, and other locations. The spray ground will call our names on hot days to cool off. Most important, we will all decompress as much as possible before we start this new academic adventure together in September.

For those of you who have children that have moved from elementary school to middle school, what are your tips for easing into this transition?

It's Me

P.S. A huge thank you to the amazing parents at our school that made the moving up carnival this weekend. The kids had a wonderful time and it made me smile seeing them so happy together.

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Time to Turn Seven

Dear JSL,

It is so hard to believe that my little guy is turning seven years old today. It just seems like yesterday when you were born, spent your days with me, and eventually went off to start school. Now, I look at you and you are a little boy who has a personality of his own and is almost finished with first grade. When I look at your sweet little face, the baby is almost completely gone and it pulls at my heart. While I want you to grow up and learn, part of me wants you to stay little and innocent forever. You are so sweet and always put others before you when at school and even with your big brother. Of course, being my kiddo you do have a stubborn streak and it has been nice to see you stick up for yourself recently. Along with that is your determination. Just this weekend, you decided that you will learn to ride your bike without training wheels. You want this and I know you will master it before long. No doubt I will be chasing after you when you set off full steam down the block.

Ready to ride a two wheeler

Here is a look back at your sixth year.

To celebrate turning six, pirate cupcakes were requested to share with your kindergarten class. You and I were also busy getting ready for your pirate craft party that would be a few weeks after your real birthday. It was the first friend party that you had and you were so excited to create pirate items and be with your friends. In May, we also became members of the miSci Museum where you adored going and exploring. (May 2013)

Birthday boy and pirate cupcake

The month of June was an emotional month. You were so excited about learning and writing at school. A lot of your time was spent making everyone special books. There was nothing stopping you and you just wanted to be an author and share your creations. Of course, you were also sad to be leaving kindergarten behind. You cried because you did not want to leave the wonderful teachers who helped you to come out of your shell during your first year of elementary school. (June 2013)

Ready for first grade

July was a busy month. You loved Independence Day weekend when we spent time at the lake with cousins and a lot of extended family. NHL went to camp for a week and you and I were able to do some fun things together while he was there. One of the projects we worked on was taking our the knitting loom that you asked for on your birthday. (July 2013)

Knitting Loom Crown

As the summer continued, it was time for you to go to camp for a week. You really loved the experience, but were not in love with the swimming part because people moving your items and them getting lost. August is also when you officially became a Whoovian. Suddenly, you were a Doctor Who geek that wanted to know everything and anything about The Doctor. This was a proud moment for Daddy because you fell in love with his sonic screwdriver and wanted to buy your own. (August 2013)

Doctor Who Geek in Training

Before we knew it, the summer was over and you were heading off to first grade. This was a big adjustment because it meant being on another floor of the school and eating lunch in the cafeteria. Later in the month, when I went to a conference in Atlanta, you sent a special someone along with me. You asked me to take photos of Timon during my travels. I did this and it seems to be a new tradition thanks to you. (September 2013)

First Day of School - September 2013

The autumn was a rocky time. You were upset with some items and had a difficult time expressing them. My sweet little guy suddenly was sad and did not want to go to school. You made my mission to stop high stakes testing and education reform more of a pressing matter after you went to the school nurse with chest pains because of math. It broke my heart watching you so sad about learning. Thank goodness your teacher has done her best and tried to help the situation. Halloween marked fun moments when we picked out pumpkins and you had a blast playing with pumpkin guts. (October 2013)

Pumpkin Guts Fun

As the weather started to change, we were very busy. You started to settle into Hebrew School and loved helping me to select new crochet projects. After Halloween was over, you also adored wearing Daddy’s bowtie and fez. You were so in love with the fez that he made you your own and you insisted on wearing it out shopping one day. You laughed so hard when someone yelled down an aisle that fezes were cool. (November 2013)

Fezes are cool

Chanukah started on Thanksgiving and was almost over before December started. Once again, you enjoyed helping us to light the menorah each night while reciting the prayers. The best part was watching your face light up when we surprised you with Disney Infinity. You adore using this and exploring with NHL. While you may fight over who gets to do things, both of you got along during those cold and snowy days over the winter. (December 2013)

Brothers play Disney Infinity

The new year brought a lot of cold. Eventually, snow came and we had fun painting it and trying to stay warm. You were also my main helper when it came to trying things out for my posts on Bedtime Math. You loved heading out to the store to get items and trying them out with me. I think a favorite was probably the foam dough that you played with for hours. (January 2014)

Snow patining fun

More snow, making snowmen paintings, and creating items for Valentine’s Day kept us busy when you were not in school. You love to make crafts, so we spent a lot of time with various items. Of course, you also enjoyed heading outside into the cold to make snow forts and sled around the area. It was so much fun watching you play with NHL and Daddy. (February 2014)

Let it Go No More Snow

I do believe even you got to a point when you were sick of the snow. You were ready to be able to run and play outside without worrying about falling on the ice. Purim was a nice distraction for everyone. You had fun dressing up like Hiccup and playing games at the festival that we went to. (March 2014)

Hiccup the Viking at Purim

Passover preparations kept all of us busy. You had fun learning the four questions for the Seder. Of course, our celebration was changed a bit when we had to schedule your surgery at the end of Spring break. You were so brave before, during, and after your surgery. I know it was not easy for you, but you were so sweet even when you were horribly miserable. In the end, we told you that it would make you breathe easier and so much happier later on. Thank goodness you truly believed us. (April 2014)Smiling through the exhaustion with his Monster friends

Here we are back in May with your seventh birthday celebration. While I may be sad that you are growing up, I am so proud of who you are and what is ahead of you. I cherish the time with you watching you smile and hearing your laughter. You are such a sweet, smart, talented, and compassionate little boys. I look forward to watching you grow, learn more, and become even more special each and every day. Always know that I am cheering you on and here for a hug. No matter how old you get, you will always be my baby boy and I will protect you as much as I can.

Happy 7th birthday sweetie and here is to many more happy and wonderful memories ahead.

Love,

Mommy

Past B-day posts to JSL:

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Telling a Child About Surgery

There are days that I wish parenting came with an instruction manual. Today is definitely one of those days. JSL, 6, is having surgery in just over a week and he does not know yet. Actually, neither of the boys know because there has been no real reason for them to potentially worry over the last month. The plan had been to tell him tonight because the pre-op appointment was tomorrow morning. Now, that is being moved due to an emergency with our doctor. No big deal, but I still think it is time to say something. JSL has no school next week and if he’s scared perhaps he will say something to his teacher tomorrow. She knows our plan and has been wonderful and supportive the entire time.

Still, how do you tell your child that they are having surgery?

Albany Medical Center - Teddy Bear Hospital

I know that JSL is not scared of doctors, hospital, and procedures. This is my child who begged to see Nana’s wound after her foot surgery last year. Unlike his big brother who covers his eyes when there is a cut finger, JSL wants to help out. The kid gets a kick out of medical things, but this is different. This is unlike anything else either of the boys has been through. The element of the unknown will be hanging over all of us during this time.

Teddy Bear Hospital Stations

A wise friend suggested just giving basics this evening. Simply telling JSL that he will be going to the doctor to have his nose and breathing fixed. Then, asking our doctor to explain more when we go for the pre-op appointment with her. If he wants to know more tonight, I can explain developmentally appropriate things. Of course, I probably will not have some answers. I can let him know that he will be eating a lot of ice cream and pudding. Passover will not be matzoh for him after Friday. Nana also suggested telling only him first and asking if he wants to tell NHL. This may be a really good idea.

Have you had to tell your child that they will be having surgery? I would love to know your experience with this as a parent, or perhaps when you heard you were having a procedure done as a child.

It's Me

FYI – The photos are from the Teddy Bear Hospital that was about a year ago at a local hospital. The purpose was to share items with the kids to make them less scared if they end up there for something one day.

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