Archives for category: preschool activities

Being a mom is one of the most adventurous things I have ever done. I have traveled. I have gone all over. I have had adventures close to home. I have seen some crazy things living when living in downtown Chicago. But I will say being a mom is still the most adventurous thing I have done. Every day is something new. The moment you feel like you have everything figured out, things change. That doesn’t mean in a bad way either. Life is just always evolving when you have kids. Your kids are always evolving, growing, learning, and changing.

I LOVE to have adventures. I love doing things with Jackson and soon with Alexander as well. I do not think there is a week that goes by where Jack and I don’t leave the house and do something, anything, just enjoy the world. We stay busy on a regular basis. Last week alone we made a trip to the park, Navy Pier in downtown Chicago, a local fest, and a Chicago White Sox baseball game. Spending time with him is truly one of my favorite things to do. I miss him if I go to the grocery store by myself. He loves to help me and is a fantastic helper. I know I see a lot of sarcastic things out there saying something along the lines “you know you are a mom when going to the grocery store is a vacation” I don’t really follow that motto deep in my heart. Sure, there are moments where I need a breather, but give me 20 minutes by myself. Even quietly sitting on my couch, and I am usually able to reset.

We have had so many adventures together in the 3 and 1/2 years he has been my little partner in crime. I had so much fun downtown this week. He is getting to the age to finally understand the city. He was so observant. I have taken him down there before, all over. In fact, he has been to Navy Pier many times already. This time though, he had a million questions!

We went to the Dinosaur exhibit. It was a temporary thing going on. It was not our favorite part of the day. I don’t think it will be something we jump at going to next year if it comes back, but we made the best of it. Then moved on to other cool things at the Pier.

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As you can see in the top photo, he was not impressed! Ha! Mostly he didn’t want to stop for a quick photo. We really didn’t spend much time here. It wasn’t as cool as the commercial made it seem.

We went and ate our lunch. I was the only crazy (smart?) parent who packed her own lunch. There are so many restaurants to choose from that people usually eat at those places. We love our picnics though. I even offered to skip our packed lunch after he saw all the places to eat, and as always, he picked my lunch! Then we made our way to get some ice cream for Jackson. In a waffle cone! It was messy and delightful for him. I don’t eat ice cream, but I enjoy watching him eat that special treat once in a while. He loves it so much and the delight on a child’s face when the eat a big ice cream cone is something you can easily get lost in.



We made our way to the carousel and HUGE ferris wheel. That ferris wheel is so big! I was proud of him for being brave enough to want to try it. He was so excited. We talked about how we could see all the different things over the city. He was pointing out different boats he saw zipping around Lake Michigan. I had to keep prepping him for the exit, because you have to get off while it was still moving. That was a little tricky for him but mostly because he was in his own world still wanting to observe everything. Ha! IMG_6692 IMG_6702 IMG_6695


Our plan was to next head to Build A Bear to make a Ninja Turtle. They recently started carrying them to promote the new movie. We saw the display when we arrived that morning. We made our way behind all the action and ended up walking through the Crystal Gardens. It was nearly empty and very quiet in there compared to the rest of the Pier and to the rest of our day! Jackson was enamored with what he called “the jungle!” He wanted to see the plants and wanted to see all the cool different water fountains they had. We were in there for quite a while. I know where we will eat lunch next time. They even had tables and chairs for meals set up and they were nearly all empty. He sat watching this one fountain for quite sometime. I asked if he wanted to take a photo with the cool fountain and he said yes. Then instructed me he wanted it like this:


He is such an old soul. I had a hard time getting him out of there. He probably could have spent an hour in there. Next time, I know we will hang out in there a bit longer.

Eventually we made our way to Build A Bear and he made his Turtle. Raphael. He hasn’t slept without him since that night last week. He thinks it is the coolest thing ever. He has made animals there before, but again, something about 3 and 1/2 makes a difference. He gets it now. He is excited. He is inquisitive. He remembers.


Our plan that day had been to just go to the Dinosaur adventure. I figured on a lunch break, then we would head back inside and keep doing fun Dinosaur things. My plan didn’t include many actual Navy Pier attractions. But, life is an adventure! I was so happy that we just went with the flow and ended up having a blast all day long. Doing all the cool things we wanted to do, even if the initial thing wasn’t as cool as we hoped.

I have been getting out and about with him since before he was a month old. I started mommy and me classes when he was 7 weeks old. I love keeping active and busy. I know things won’t change once Alexander comes along. We might get out the door a little slower at first, but I know we will still be getting out the door on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, Alexander will be born smack dab in the middle of Jackson’s fall soccer time!

What does this week hold for us? I am not sure yet. We might go to the park today. Possibly go see Planes tonight. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays are usually our adventure days. But today I have a Dr appointment and tomorrow night we have a Natural Childbirth class (I hope to write about that!) So Thursday will have to be our big day out, but what shall we do? All I know is, I will be spending time with that little man. Holding his hand and being adventurous together.


Today was Jackson’s last day of soccer. He is 3. There were no games. It was basically indoor skills practice. He has had a difficult time with soccer. He is good at dribbling and scoring. He enjoys playing it, at home. The boys he plays with are mostly 4 year olds. They have played before and can be aggressive with each other and the ball. My little man tends to be on the more non confrontational side. So there have been many tears on Tuesday morning trying to convince him to get in the car to just finish up what we joined.

Over the past 3 weeks his confidence has grown. I could see him enjoying himself a little bit more while he was on the field. This morning I had been thinking I wished there were one or two more weeks because I feel he would start to say he enjoys it. But all things must end.

Today there was one 4 year old boy that was being quite nasty. He was throwing elbows when trying to steal the ball. He was pushing Jackson. The worst moment? I saw him actually get close to my son and spit in his face! The coach happened to not see that. He has about 7 little 3 and 4 year old boys to guide. His back was turned. I could see my son’s face from the sidelines. I wanted to get up and scream at that little monster. How dare he! What do his parents teach him? I held my tongue. I watched my poor son aghast take a step back. I could see he said something like “no” to the boy. However, that was all he did. He is non confrontational. Not that I want him to spit back, because I don’t! But it made my heart ache to see this happen to MY kid. One of the most disgusting and disrespectful things.

A few moments later he stole Jackson’s ball. I cheered for Jack to go after him and steal it back. He did. The kid threw another elbow. The coach saw this time. Jack came running to me to tell me what happened. I assured him he was ok and that it wasn’t nice that he did that but to keep trying to get the ball and score a goal. Meanwhile the coach started lecturing the other boys on how they do not use their hands and arms to get the ball from someone, only their feet.

I am protective of my child. Most moms are. I have yelled at other kids at the park who would throw sand when he was a baby and playing in the sand. I have told nasty older children to be mindful and nice to the toddlers at the park. But he was a little guy who still wobbled when walking and often needed help on most things at the park. This was one of the first times I did not step in. He is starting to become a child. Not just a baby. I wanted to step in. Everything in me screamed to go say something to the coach. “That boy SPIT in my child’s face!” What would have happened? Nothing. It was the last day. It is preschooler skills development. There are no yellow or red cards. The coach would have just told the other kid not to spit.

This was the first time I had to face the fact that shitty things are sometimes going to happen to my boys. And during some of those shitty things I won’t be able to intervene. All I will be able to do is be there after the fact to console them, listen to them, love them, and let them know it will all be ok eventually. On our way out we chatted about the things that had happened. I told him I saw what that boy did and it was nasty and wrong of him. He shouldn’t have done it and I was sorry it happened to Jackson. I also explained when he does play soccer with other kids it is ok to keep trying to get his ball back with his feet. To follow through and stick with it. I didn’t tell him to throw an elbow if someone is being particularly douchey, though I was tempted. Ha!

Milestones don’t end after the first year or so. They just come in different forms. Sometimes they are milestones for your child and sometimes they are actual parenting milestones for you. Today, this was a big parenting milestone for me. It will probably bother me for a long time that some little jerk spit in my chubby cheeked sweetheart’s face. I probably won’t forget this day in particular. A little piece of my heart was left on that indoor soccer field this morning.


Yesterday I posted about the completion of my Reformer student teaching hours. I did complete them all, plus the 1st session after that finish line! It feels great. With that being said, next week I start teaching regularly. I have 7 classes a week on the schedule for the summer session! I am diving in head first. I have mentioned how my 2 1/2 year old is in an early preschool program. He goes two days a week. I will teach on both of those days. I will also be teaching two classes on Tuesday nights. As well as two classes on Saturday mornings. He is used to me being home with him practically 24/7. I am glad we started school a month or so before this was to take place. But I still will be gone more than usual. I will also have to spend more time preparing for classes and researching things at home. There is also the chance that I will be teaching private clients, which can eat up more hours.

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Monday was our last day of swim lessons. The summer schedule at the Y changes. We cannot do the 2 days a week they offer for his age. One of the days falls on one of my work days/his school day. This means that now Mondays and Thursdays are entirely ours. We have no mommy/me classes. I do not teach during the day or night. I have been pretty busy lately trying to finish up these last handful of hours. I have been gone more than normal. Yesterday I taught during the day and then had to have a sitter watch Jack in the evening because I taught at night and my husband was away at a conference. He saw me for a few hours only. Meaning I also only saw him for a few hours. I found myself really looking forward to today. Today is our day to do what we want. The weather is crappy, so I doubt we will play outside, but it is ours. This is the first time I have thought about days this way. Every day was our day. There was no distinction between our days and away days. I stayed home with him for the first 2 1/2 years of his life. My away time was significantly less than my time with him. It is interesting to be heading into this transition of a working parent. I am not working full time, yet, but it is a huge change from our normal comfort zone. We are creating a new comfort zone.

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Part of me is feeling guilty. When Jack begs me to not go to work. He has started that already and the summer session hasn’t begun! I am truthful when I say the last couple weeks I have really  been gone a lot more often. So, he is aware of the changes in our lifestyle. I don’t really need to work. I could continue to stay home with him and we are comfortable. However, I want to work. I am ready to start my life up again. One day he will go off to school 5 days a week all day long. He will make friends he wants to play with. He will join sports. He will have practice. He won’t be home as much as he is now. Where will I be when that happens? Now, I will be teaching Pilates. Before? I would have been shell shocked I think. So the other part of me is not as guilty feeling. I have been endlessly devoted to his every whim and need for two and a half years! It is time to foster his independence. It is time to let him socialize with other kids his age, without me around. When I am around, all he wants is me. I see the photos of him playing with his little friends during the day and I just beam. He is very clingy if I am around. Seeing him blossom and learning to interact with other children makes me so happy! He needs his space at times, as much as I do!

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So next week some big changes are coming to our home. They will be good I think. Life will be a little different. That is not a bad thing. We are evolving as a family. We are moving forward. We are taking on new challenges. Conquering new goals and accomplishments. I am excited. I am also looking forward to Mondays and Thursdays. Time to just be with my little man. Maybe we will have grand adventures some days. And other days maybe we will just be lazy and cuddle and bum around all day. Those are our days to do what we want together!

I have a ton to write about. I have a ton of updates in my life. Our internet has been screwy. One reason I cannot wait to move. There is not much you can do about that when you are renting. When you own, well my husband can hunt and hunt until he finds the problem. He thinks the issue is at the source of the connection. I have my iPad and iPhone, but I don’t like trying to write out a post on those. I do not type quite as quickly as I do on a good old fashioned keyboard.

So what has been going on?

My obsession with the Wunda Chair grows each day. This morning, I cannot recall the last time I took a day off of working out. I think that means I should skip today. We shall see.

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Jack started preschool last week! TWO days a week. It was a crazy feeling. I was so excited for him to learn. I was a bit excited to have some time to get things done. I was sad that he is growing. I felt so guilty. My guilt increased when he cried both mornings and begged me not to leave him. BUT both days, after I left, he calmed down and had a great time. Both days when I picked him up he said “GREAT DAY!” On the first day, I bawled when I got into the parking lot and on the phone with my husband. I felt so awful seeing him so upset. I have been feeling VERY guilty for sending him in the first place. I feel like a crap mom.

I have been a stay at home mom for going on 2 1/2 years. I dedicate myself entirely to this boy. Now that I am ready to embark on my career (I even have SIX classes on the summer schedule), I needed to find some time during the day to work. As parents, we decided together Jack was ready for socialization with his peers, so we picked an early preschool program instead of an in home nanny. Yet, I still feel like I am doing him a disservice because for a couple hours a week I let him go learn and play with others. I know it makes no sense, but it is how I feel. It does help to hear about his day through him when I pick him up. He even made me a Mother’s Day gift at school! It was the best gift ever! This school gives us daily updates, emails, photos, and progress reports. Even what times his diaper was changed, how he ate, how his mood was. It keeps me involved without actually being there. Jack is super attached to me. Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and I still had to change every single diaper because he flips out if I am around and my husband tries to do it. He is a momma’s boy. So this has been a transition for the both of us. I think it will prove to be great, I already see sparkles of that after 2 days. It is just a matter of me getting my irrational guilt in check.

Check out some photos from his first 2 days!

Jacky's very 1st day!

Jacky’s very 1st day!


Cooking some food on his 1st day

Cooking some food on his 1st day


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After his 1st day was over. Too cool for school 😉


Making some art on his 2nd day

Making some art on his 2nd day


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My Mother’s Day gift!

We close on our new home on Thursday. Yes, as in 3 days from this post! That has been a big contributor to the insanity in our lives. We are swamped. Plus our landlord has listed our current place for rent, so we have had showings. While packing I also have to keep the house pristine and in showing conditions! Last week we stopped by the house for some quotes on some repairs on the pool.

We took some time to take a couple photos of the new place. We are so excited for this adventure to come to a close (pun intended) this week.

In our backyard

In our backyard


Making himself at home by our pool

Making himself at home by our pool

The only reason I have time to write all of this today is because I am taking a day off of working out. I do have to take Jack to swim lessons this morning. Tonight I am teaching 2 Reformer classes. I have to prep a bit for those, even though I am pretty sure I know what I am doing anyway. I should clean up the living room too because it is a disaster after a Mother’s Day lego session yesterday. This was my 3rd Mother’s Day. It feels crazy to say that! I can’t believe I have 3 under my belt already!

Mother's Day 2013

Mother’s Day 2013

This might be the last post for a while. We plan to move everything Friday if we can. Which means we will probably have our first somewhat settled night in the house on Saturday. AH! Craziness. June is going to be nuts for us. We always have a lot to do. Our wedding anniversary, my husband always has a conference in the beginning of June so he is gone for a few days, plus there are always tons of family parties and/or weddings. My summer session begins June 9th. I will try to update though, especially about the new pad.

I hope everyone is doing well. I hope Mother’s Day was great!


I took a huge ginormous step this week. On Wednesday I went on a tour of a preschool for my 2 year old son. We have an appointment with another school today. Jack and I are pretty inseparable. We have been since he was conceived. He was literally attached to me the entire first year of his life via nursing. I was unsuccessful at pumping. So I was his only source of milk. I still have to do everything for him. He even insists I feed him his meals. He can feed himself, but he begs “mommy do please.” I have to change his diapers, dress him, bathe him, wash his hands, prepare his meals. He doesn’t like anyone else, even my husband, doing these things. At times, it can be exhausting. Especially since I am a stay at home mom. I have only been teaching early on Saturday mornings. Jack is usually still asleep for most of the time I am gone. photo

I am ready to branch out and work on my career a bit more. It took me two months to actually go in for the first tour. I contacted them in February. It is tough for me to let go. I know that eventually I have to. Or one day he will legally have to be in school for 8 hours a day and I will be sitting around twirling my thumbs wondering “what now?” I don’t want to be doing that. I am filled with guilt though. I feel so guilty for sending him to school. That is entirely irrational, I know. I am not dumping him somewhere just to get me time. I am sending him to a school with a curriculum and educators. For 5 or less hours 2 times a week. That is 10 hours out of 168 hours in a week. It is really not that much at all.

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The tour went really well. Jack was shy whenever we were in the office. The moment we stepped in the classroom he hopped out of my arms. He went off and started playing with toys and other children! He doesn’t even do that at our gymnastics class! We have been going there since summer. He will run off to play with things, but not with the other kids. He barely interacts with the other kids at gymnastics. He does NOT like the teachers touching him at gymnastics. He screams “mommy do” and flips out. He constantly wants me by him. On Wednesday, he didn’t even look for me for several minutes. He was on the other side of the room playing with a little girl. He didn’t want to leave when it was time for us to be on our way. It helped me to feel excited that he will have this opportunity. I still feel awfully guilty, but his excitement proved to me that he does need time with his peers in a classroom setting. We will see how today goes at this other school. They are both located near my work and our soon to be new home. I was referred to the first location through someone I know. The 2nd place is a place my husband found after doing some research.

Gymnastics and swim are so fun. They are much different from the classroom setting though. They are the extracurricular activities. We still have to make our decision on where to send him. We will have to register, get medical paperwork completed, and pick a start date. Nothing is set in stone though. It is looking like he will go to one of the locations. I am not the only one struggling with this ginormous step, my husband is too! We are both picky and a little bit of control freaks with Jack. No wonder the child is pampered and has become “accustomed to a certain lifestyle” 😉

How did you handle the first school enrollment? Did you feel guilty? Excited? Nervous? Any other emotions? How did the transition go? I am not there yet, so I am curious. I know all kids are different. 

We are a technology family. My husband started his own company when he was 19. Email marketing is his world. Software, computers, technology of any sort is a huge part of his and our lives. So it is no surprise when I say our son has been using an iPad since before he was 1 & 1/2. He is a pro on the iPad and iPhone. He can swipe, scroll, click, and play games better than some adults out there. Some people feel that children shouldn’t be around technology too much. We don’t take that position. Seeing as how our very livelihood is because of technology and the internet, we support him learning about and through it at a young age. Jack is 2, a bit over 25 months to be exact. He speaks in sentences, says please and thank you, can count to 3 and is working on learning to count to 4, he knows many of his colors, he can do puzzles on the iPad, he is great with memory and matching games, and over all he is just bright. At the store the other day in the checkout line he pointed out that the box of his new angry bird toy was blue. He said “the box is blue.” The cashier was blown away and complimented me on how well he speaks. We get that a lot. I am not trying to brag here. I am trying to set up the argument that technology is not a bad thing for young children. We don’t feel that way. For us, the proof is in the pudding. I do spend time going over the apps and games with him to help teach him about each one. I also let him play on his own. We reinforce the themes he learns. We do spend time teaching him as well. The iPad and apps just help us along the way. They are tools. They are also a good way to have some time to get something done around the house or just take a little break yourself. Because in all honesty, sometimes you just need that. It is an all around winner in our book.

I want to share a couple of our favorite apps. When it comes to Jack it has to go without saying, Angry Birds are at the top of his list. He is obsessed with Angry Birds everything. However, those are not the toddler specific apps I am thinking about. They are fun though! We play them together.

mzl.udxltyix.320x480-75 Monkey Preschool Lunchbox 

This app has been on our iPad for about a year. It is overall fantastic. It covers colors, numbers, differences, matching, memory, letters, and fine motor skills. There is a reason why it is says it is the #1 preschool app. Jack loves this app. He gets so excited when he completes each task. He always tells me “did it self!” I started saying “Yay, I am proud of you” Now he will add “Prou of you” After he exclaims he did it himself. The reward stickers are very cute. After a couple rounds of successful games they are taken to a sticker board and get to pick a reward sticker. There are all sorts of different characters, animals, shapes, and items. The puzzle can take some time to learn, but it is great because it really fine tunes those fine motor skills. Sometimes even adults have a hard time getting the puzzle exactly lined up. So when a 2 year old does it, wow! That is skill! The monkey is very cute. He cheers them on each time the are successful at a task. The colors are bright and fun. It is a winner all around. I do not have even one bad thing to say about it. It is our favorite. Jack calls it The Monkey Game.

thmb3_l_trucks Trucks 

Trucks by Duck Duck Moose is another favorite. Jack loves cars and trucks. This app offers 5 different car/truck related activities. Toddlers can get cars dirty and then wash and dry them. They can pick sharp objects to pop a tire, then send the car to the shop to repair the car. There is a dump truck game. They can even sort out trash between compost, recyclables, or trash. There are extra little treats on each screen. You can touch the monkey near the mud pit and he will throw a mudball at the screen! You can touch the shark in the image to the left and he will rock out on the guitar. The instructions are clear and concise. The colors are bright and vibrant. One thing I think is nice is in the garbage truck game the correct can opens up when you hover over it. That is a nice feature because these toddlers are just learning the differences. It would be hard to decide cold turkey which piece belongs in which can. The fact that the only the correct can opens is  setting the toddler up for success in learning the differences correctly. There are multiple Duck Duck Moose apps that we love. I suggest checking all of them out.

p029_1_07  Baby Bubble School for Toddlers

This is a great flashcard type game. If you child loves real bubbles, this provides a nice incentive for learning. They get to pop all the interactive bubbles they want! Jack loves bubbles. We use them a lot. He thinks they are the bees knees. So when we are taking a real bubble break, he has the option to play with more bubbles on  his iPad. This app has 10 categories of items. Everything from toys to upper and lowercase letters! It is an app that can stick around for a while. Jack prefers the toys, fruits, vegetables, and animals right now. As he grows letters and numbers will be available too! There are 3 game modes, learn, play, and explore. It has continuous options. It is great that toddlers can grow with this app.

I am going to stick to these 3 for now. I can always do another post down the road. We have a ton of apps on the iPad. These seem to be the three favorites of Jack. Other than ALL the Angry Birds apps as well. Even Star Wars. He has never even seen the REAL Star Wars! Ha!

We are happy with the supplemental education our iPad provides our toddler. It is so exciting to watch him learn and grasp concepts. I love seeing his excitement when he knows he got it right. We really feel technology should be embraced. Our whole world revolves around technology. If you shelter your children from it too much or entirely, you are almost setting them up for struggles down the road when they are behind their peers on their exposure to it. I am not advocating letting them do whatever they want all the time on devices, but we don’t count minutes or hours he plays with these things. We don’t have strict rules about no more iPad time. If he is naughty that might be a privilege he loses for a little bit, but that is about not acting naughty not about an egg timer on his learning. It is about balance. We do play outside. We do run around. Jack loves soccer and can already dribble a soccer ball. April has been very cold where we live. Yesterday we played soccer in our living room! He wanted to go outside so bad but it was just way too cold. We made the best of it. He goes to gymnastics and swim classes. He would be in soccer but the place I found with 2 year old soccer had low enrollment. We will sign him up for soccer and hockey when he is 3. I teach Pilates, clearly physical movement and getting outside is also important to me. I just don’t count down how much he does of that or plays on his iPad. We don’t keep track of things like that in our home. We just do what is available to us at the moment.

We had a big milestone around here Friday night. My toddler, two years old, 26 months in a couple days, moved to a big boy bed! We have a few reasons for why we decided to do this now.

  1. Bedtime has been a bit dramatic lately. He just didn’t like being put in his crib. He would try to climb out. He never actually climbed all the way out but would get halfway. Throwing a fit, etc. It is stressful for all.
  2. We are moving soon (hopefully, we have a close date of May 17th, but I am not holding my breath) Anyway, if that does go through, and there is a good possibility, I didn’t want to have to wait a while before it was time to think about a bed. I figured if we waited then giving him an adjustment period would take a while. We also plan to start potty training after the move. So one or the other would have been put on the back burner. We thought one less big change AFTER a move would be best. This gives him over a month in his new bed.
  3. We found the most amazing toddler bed in the world. I am not exaggerating either. Wait until you see this thing.

I know it is not the longest list ever, but those three reasons together made for the perfect time. Friday night was rough. That was the first night in his bed. He woke up around 3:30am. I ended up bringing him in our bed. It took about 2 hours for him to settle down again. Saturday we went out of town. Also a rough  night. He slept with us overnight at my inlaws, but slept is used loosely. No one got much sleep. Last night was better. He is still in there! It is 7:43 am! Other than his initial protest of us leaving, I haven’t heard a peep. He is asleep, I can see on the camera.

I am not insane, I don’t expect every night to go like last night, but I really needed that good sleep, so I am happy about it. I thought I would be more sad about this big part of Jack’s infancy ending. I am not. I have been excited. Probably because the bed is so freaking cool. Probably because his excitement over it was too adorable. He even started calling it Bucky. Which is the name of the ship on Jake and the Neverland Pirates, a favorite show of his. Oh, did I not mention, this bed is a PIRATE SHIP!


SO excited!

SO excited!



We think....he loves it

We think….he loves it

See, it is hard to feel sad when your child is this excited. I am excited for him. I am excited that he is gaining more independence. He still loves to cuddle. He is still a momma’s boy. He is still my baby, even if he is growing up. That is all that matters. Last night he told me “Mommy sleep bed.” and pointed to his bed. He wanted me to sleep there with him. He still wants his mommy around! I told him that I had to go get ready for sleep in my bed. I assumed I would be in his bed later or carrying him to mine. I was fully prepared, albeit, not looking forward to it. This morning when I woke up I was shocked that it hadn’t happened.

So here is to childhood milestones big and small. This was a big one.

So far, two is good. Two is funny. Two is active. Two is entertaining himself. Two is very chatty. Two is perceptive. Two is helpful. Two is loving and caring. Two is sweet. Two is bright. Two is a trickster. Two is smart. Two is agile. Two is coordinated. Two is fantastic!

Jack turned two on Monday and the past couple days have been pretty fun. Two gets a bad name. I don’t think it is the way it is portrayed so often. I also don’t think it has to be that way. I don’t have a secret to share on how to make two fantastic. I just know he started tantrums well before two. I am used to them. They don’t really phase me anymore. What does phase me? How amazing he is every single day. I am blown away by him multiple times a day. He is so bright. I love watching him just be himself. Yesterday evening I found him on our stairs, hanging out with our cat. He was petting her gently. Talking to her. Kissing her face. Rubbing their noses together. When he realized I was there he started telling me all about what he was doing. He was so gentle and loving. Later he started wrestling my husband. Running from one side of the room and would tackle him. One time, he wiped out. He cried for a bit. Once he settled down, he hopped off of my lap and started it all over again. Over it in a snap.

THAT is the two I want to focus on. THAT is the two I wish would get the parenting site headlines! It does a little, but I do feel that tantrums get the spotlight. I can use my platform here to show that two is in fact fantastic. So, you can expect that over the next year.

Here are some photos from Jacky’s 2nd birthday  His party is this Sunday, so these are just from our day together on his actual birthday.

Birthday boy needs his milk

Birthday boy needs his milk

A smile!

A smile!

His big birthday gift! A duplo battery powered train set.

His big birthday gift! A duplo battery powered train set.

Daddy built a tunnel. Jacky was waiting for the  train to come through

Daddy built a tunnel. Jacky was waiting for the train to come through

I forgot candles. But Jack liked my tea lights

I forgot candles. But Jack liked my tea lights

photo 4

Loved his cupcake

Loved his cupcake

Happy 2nd birthday my sweet boy! These past two years have been an amazing and fast ride. I love you so very much. More than you know and more than I can explain. I am looking forward to every single year and moment I get with you! Keep being your amazing self. I am so proud of you!

I was going to write about my Reformer class from last night.  That was my plan for today. I just don’t feel like breaking it down right now. I have over analyzed it in my head enough. It wasn’t the best class ever. So maybe another time I will. Or maybe I will just keep this one to myself.

What I do want to write about, is the happiness my little boy brings me. As his 2nd birthday rapidly approaches, there are 10 more days, I can’t get over how much we do each day. He is so active. I am usually beat 30 minutes after he wakes up. We are constantly moving. It is great though. He is fantastic. Last night he discovered the joy of piggy back rides. He started to climb on my back and I decided to tell him to hold on tight and I started with a squat. He went bananas for it. It turned into a full on run around our living room. It was a welcomed end to my day yesterday.









You can see for yourself the pure joy on his little face. He really thought this was the bees knees. I am sure I will have to do this often. He kept saying “mom again!” As 2 rapidly approaches, I cannot help but love it already. Sure, there are tantrums. He is strong willed. Very strong willed. We are his parents, so that is no surprise. Both Jason and myself are strong willed or stubborn people. I am not shocked that our son has his moments too. I love him to pieces though. I love his wonderment. I love his memory capabilities. He blows me out of the water with the things he remembers from months ago and tells me about! I look at these photos and I am instantly filled with joy. I couldn’t see his face as we were doing this. I could feel and hear his laughs. But to see that face makes me melt. I could do this all day for him knowing how much fun he was having.

For a brief moment last night, I entirely forgot that I totally sucked at teaching my class. (There were visible eye rolls) I won’t go there though. I love how life can sometimes really give you the important moments when things seem like they’ve gone to shit. Jack has the trust and faith in my expertise to keep him safe during a piggy back ride around the house. I needed that feeling last night.

Today I will be gone when he wakes up. I am going to take a Reformer class and then observe. I need to watch someone teach and absorb today. Then I am treating my stressed out self to a pedicure. Whoa, getting fancy up in here. I haven’t gotten one in a month or two? But Uncle Matt, my younger brother and Jack’s buddy, will be here. When I get home we will have lots of playtime, since I don’t have training class tonight. I am sure lots of piggy back rides are in my future.


Pretty the Elf has been very busy since I last wrote about him. I have been having a blast with Elf on the Shelf. Jack is into it as well. He says ELLL for elf and always find him. If my scene falls down, he tells me immediately, so I can assist Elf back to his spot. Here is an update on Pretty’s or ELLL’s activities since I last posted about him. In all honesty, I came up with all of these ideas on my own. Somehow I pulled them out of my brain. I am still not sure what adventure he will have this morning. I felt that away a lot each morning. Then, I would be walking through the house and something would catch my eye, an idea would form. I am hoping that today the same thing happens. We only have a handful of days left. I would like to form all of my own ideas this year! No research necessary.

Peekaboo! I see you! Pretty/ELLL was playing hide and go seek

Peekaboo! I see you! Pretty/ELLL was playing hide and go seek

Rock climbing. This was a favorite of Jack's. At one point the tape gave away and he fell. Suddenly Jack shouted "Mom help!!!" I came over.He followed up with "Elll fall down!" Then as I placed him back up there, Jack insisted I add more tape.

Rock climbing. This was a favorite of Jack’s. At one point the tape gave away and he fell. Suddenly Jack shouted “Mom help!!!” I came over.He followed up with “Elll fall down!” Then as I placed him back up there, Jack insisted I add more tape.

Jack had a cold, and pretty caught it. Poor elf.

Jack had a cold, and pretty caught it. Poor elf.

He was having a healthy Sunday breakfast. No syrup and candy like Buddy the Elf

He was having a healthy Sunday breakfast. No syrup and candy like Buddy the Elf

A little gardening

A little gardening

Candy Cane zip line adventures. Another favorite of Jack's

Candy Cane zip line adventures. Another favorite of Jack’s

Snowball fight!!!!!!

Snowball fight!!!!!!

Ball pit. Jack's loves ball pits. This was another favorite spot. He talked about this all day. At one point he stole some of the ornaments but left Pretty alone!

Ball pit. Jack’s loves ball pits. This was another favorite spot. He talked about this all day. At one point he stole some of the ornaments but left Pretty alone!

Reading Christmas cheer

Reading Christmas cheer

So that is where I am as of yesterday morning. I have to come up with something fun for today. I have been glancing around my living room and Jack’s playroom as I sit here. No epiphany just yet. It will come at some point though. My favorite thing is when I ask him where the Elf is, he goes back to the exact previous spot from the day before. I love his memory!


Have you been doing Elf on the Shelf? What is your Elf’s name? Where do you get your ideas? Do your children enjoy it?