Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mini-Portraits

Amy cracks me up. In the case of this picture, literally!

She has these small pads of paper and on them, she draws always in green marker, family portraits. Sometimes it is just the two of us. Other times, it is the three of us.

Last night, she drew the three of us as snowmen, the three of us as eggs, and the three of us in front of our house.

What's truly bizarre is that she leaves them all over the house as little surprise love notes. We never know what we will find or where we will find them. Often, she asks me to hang them up on a clothing line that I put in place on our baker's rack to display her artwork.

Amy was shocked this morning when Chad took one picture to work with him. "You're taking it to work with you? Really?" 

Nonetheless, they make me laugh ... and I enjoy getting them.

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

First Bowling


We met the Fish last night for bowling in Mendham. That little 4 lane bowling alley is adorable. We were the only ones there and the kids were able to dance, scream and bowl their hearts out.

This was a first for Amy. And bowling for kids has certainly changed since I was a kid.

First, they had orange and pink, light weight balls for kids (versus the heav black ones that we had to lug, drop and roll).

Second, they had a little stand that the kids put the ball ontop of and roll rather than bouncing, dropping and rolling. With some help, Amy achieved quite a few strikes and spares.

Amy smiled so incredibly wide, cheered her friend on, and bounced up and down when the pins fell. She is yet to realize that there are only 10 pins ... there were some points in time that she said that there were 41. But nonetheless, she enjoyed thoroughly.

Even the bowling shoes looked adorable. She whined that she needed help and I was relentless. I talked Amy through how to put them on and she did them herself. She even took pride in doing it!

And what's more fun than bowling as a bunny?

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Easter Easter

Amy loves Easter. The kid loves everything about it - the bunny, the baskets, the candy, the eggs, the coloring, drawing easter eggs.

Each day this past week, she has been wishing everyone a "Happy Easter."

At the same time, she knows well that we do not celebrate Easter in our house. Rather than say that it is not our holiday, Amy says: "We celebrate Easter at other people's houses just not at our house."

Amy is right. We bought friends Easter baskets and she has been partaking in all of the Easter activities at school.

Yesterday, we went to the Easter egg hunt in Chester, NJ. I was pleased to see that the organizers used plastic eggs. Two years ago when we went to a hunt, they used real eggs. Amy collected all of two because she wasn't sure what to do with them. They weren't chocolate and she couldn't eat them.

This year, Amy filled her little basket, and then gave some of her eggs to her friends who collected fewer. Unfortunately, many of the parents cheated and collected for their kids. They would pick up the eggs, open them up to see if anything was in them, and if the were empty, the threw them back on the ground.

The kids who collected on their own were cheated because clearly adults are faster. It was really kind of sad. Nana collected one egg. Melia collected 3. Amy had no shame and collected some of the plastic eggs dropped back on the ground. So she had a full basket. She then shared with her friends ... and felt really good about doing it.

Amy and Melia took pictures with the Easter bunny and enjoyed the Disney Junior radio music from the live promotion that Disney was doing.

We went with friends and expected the 10:30 am hunt to last for a while. We planned to go to lunch right afterward. Except that by 10:35, we were standing around talking and debriefing about the past 5 minutes. We found a great little park in Chester and played before breaking for lunch.

Amy wore her Easter bunny ears all morning and into the afternoon. She pretended to jump like a bunny and did it with flair and style. She asked to eat some chocolate and was fortunate ennough to come home in the evening to a basket on our front porch.

Amy thoroughly enjoyed the commercialized elements of Easter. Her daddy typically enjoys the day after Easter when all of the candy goes on sale. It's all good, right?

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Little Skipper

My mother pointed out the other day that Amy is skipping. She made a big of it and said, "You didn't tell me that Amy was skipping."

Honestly, I didn't think it that big a thing. She was right - it is a big thing. It is a 5 year old developmental milestone. Amy is quite the little skipper too.

I looked up 5-year-old milestones online and here is what I found: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002016.htm

Physical and motor skill milestones for a 5-year-old child may include:


•Gains about 4 - 5 pounds per year
•Grows about 2 - 3 inches per year
•Vision has reached 20/20
•Erupting the first permanent teeth (most children do not get their first permanent teeth until age 6)
•Developing increased coordination
•Skipping, jumping, and hopping with good balance
•Maintaining balance while standing on one foot with eyes closed
•Showing increased skill with simple tools and writing utensils
•Can copy a triangle
•Spreads with a knife

So what does Amy do:   1. She is gaining and growing 2. Not sure about vision - we will learn about that at her 5 year physical 3. Not sure about permanent teeth 4. Definitely more coordinated but has more fear too 5. Skips, jumps and hops 6. Balances on one foot - yoga has helped with this 7. Writing is good especially for a lefty 8. Can do triangles with her eyes closed 9. Makes her own PB&J   Thank goodness!   http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com @workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Truth About Gammy

Gammy-Made Sweater
Amy and I often talk about mistakes - point being that everyone makes mistakes. Gammy (my mother) teases Amy and says that "everyone makes makes except for Gammy."

I made a mistake this morning and left Oreo cookies that Amy needed for a school project at home. I pointed out my mistake and Amy said, "It's okay. Everyone makes mistakes, even Gammy."

The discussion of Gammy continued.

Amy: Gammy is good at a lot of things but she does make mistakes. Did you know that?

Me: Yes. You are right.

Amy: Gammy is good at making sweaters.

Me: Yes, she is. That's nice of you to say.

Amy: Gammy is also good at helping me learn. She is a teacher, that is her job.

Me: Yes, and she is good at it, right?

Amy: Yes. Gammy is good at taking care of me. She is also good at giving me hugs and making me laugh.

Me: You have an awesome Gammy.

Amy: Yes, I love my Gammy.

Gammy, there are times when you think that Amy doesn't love you because she wants to be with her Mommy or she says that she doesn't want to stay over at your house. Your granddaughter loves you very much and appreciates what you do.

You are an awesome Gammy. Thank you!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tattoos are Pretty


I have been remiss in posting this story about Amy and a conversation we had a few weeks ago in the car on the way to school. Somehow we got into a discussion about tattoos.

Me: Amy, are you going to get a tattoo when you are older?

Amy: A permanent one? One that lasts forever?

Me: Yes.

Amy: YES! Definitely. I love tattoos.

Me: Really? Who do you know that has a permanent tattoo?

Amy: Stella's daddy. He has tattoos all over his arms. They are pretty. They are black and white. I like them.

Me: Did you know that JoJo is allergic to tattoos?

Amy: She is? Well then she should not go near Stella's daddy. She will get sick.

Pause in conversation so that I could take this in and process it.

Me: Laughing. JoJo is not allergic to tattoos in the same way that Daddy is allergic to dogs and cats. Do you know how permanent tattoos get onto someone's arm?

Amy: No.

Me: Well, the artist uses a needle and ink and presses it into your arm in the design that you want. It hurts and it bleeds. JoJo is allergic to the ink.

Amy: So she can go near Stella's daddy?

Me: Yes.

Amy: Do you want me to get a tattoo?

Me: Mommy isn't a big fan of tattoos and they are forever. What you put on your body when you are young might not be what you like when you are Gammy's age.

Amy: Oh.

Pause. Silence for about 30 seconds.

Amy: Can I get a tattoo that washes off with water?

Me: Laugh. Yes. In fact, there are tattoos called henna that are part of some cultural practices. Would you like that?

Amy: Yes.

We relayed the "pretty tattoo" story to Stella's parents. Her dad pointed out the gun and woman's face on his arm and said, "Yeah, really pretty."

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

If You Don't Know What To Do ...


Amy has something called "learned helplessness." That means that when she does not know how to do something, she panics and becomes absolutely helpless. There are often tears associated.

We have been working with her school and teachers to motivate her to take control and get it together during these challenging moments.

Amy is getting much better except in two specific situations.

1. In reading and math classes, the teacher provides instructions on assignments to the whole group of kids.
2. When she does not get to finish her work / doesn't have enough time to finish

Sidebar: Yes, we need to put aside the fact that the work she is doing in reading and math is at a first grade level and she is age 4. And that the kids are rushed and get reprimanded when they do not finish their work.

Back to the story. The other night, I caught beautifully Amy singing a song, "If you don't know what to do ask for help. If you don't know what to do ask for help." When she tells me what to do in a certain circumstance, it typically means that she is internalizing it. Fingers crossed.

I have also read a whole lot about learned helplessness. One contributing symptom is that parents do too much for their kids - so much that kids can't do for themselves.

Chad and I have been urging Amy to be more independent. She now dresses herself, goes to the bathroom entirely by herself which includes closing the door and washing her hands, brushing her teeth, getting her own "cold water with a lot of ice," putting on her own jacket, cleaning up her toys and room, making her bed, among others.

For a few days, Amy said, "Why do I have to do all the work all the time?"  She got over it quickly and now we only hear a few, "Oh mans."

Help her help herself. "If you don't know what to do ask for help! Words to live by.

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Dancing to the Credits


Does your child refer to television shows by their episode name? Or appreciate the musical motage of credits in a movie or television show?

Well, my actress of a child is destined to work behind the scenes on a television show or movie set - she appreciates the credits and the naming nomenclature of shows. It's actually kind of funny.

Nonetheless, at the end of each television show and movie where there are credits or a musical montage, she gets up and dances. The longer, the better for her.

Last night, Amy watched the end of a movie (she was watching in parts) and put on an entire contemporary dance performance in our family room.

She was so graceful that Chad leaned over to me and said, "Should we look into a better dance class for her?" The answer is "of course, after the recital. And she starts musical theater classes on Wednesday."

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Chinese Restaurant


Amy and I went to dinner on Wednesday night and it was such a pleasure.

I love the version of my kid who is kind, pleasant, mature and has great manners. We went for Chinese food - her choice at her restaurant.

We each enjoyed soup and then shared steamed chicken with broccoli. Amy and I then made letters with the toothpicks from the pineapple and fortune cookies. We laughed hysterically while doing it.

Amy said "please and thank you" throughout the meal to the waiter and to me, and was charming as all hell.

She then enjoyed the chicken and broccoli for lunch on Thursday, the only day of the week that she brings lunch to school. Smart me, sending left overs.

Amy ate the whole thing. Usually I don't make a big deal over food but I was impressed that she ate at least 5 sprigs of broccoli. I guess her palate is changing.

My lovie!

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Potty Mouth, No Polish


Yesterday, I was home from work because Amy woke up with a fever.

Typically, when she is sick, I take the day off so that my colleagues do not have to hear the "daughter of a communicator" add value during calls. In general, I was off the phone yesterday unless Amy was sleeping.

In the late afternoon, I took a work-related call. Thankfully, with a friend-aleague. I sat at the kitchen table with Amy while on the phone. She was coloring. I was talking.

After about 5 minutes, Amy said, "Mommy, I am sick of hearing your voice."

I looked at her with my most shocked face. "Excuse me. That wasn't very nice."

"You have been talking for a long time and you need to go away."

In the spirit of avoiding a conflict with work friend-aleague on the phone, I got up and moved to the living room. As soon as I put my butt on the couch, I heard, "I can still hear you."

I ignored her and kept talking. "I can still here you, Mommy. You need to be quiet."

I was shocked and appalled and did not find this behavior in the least bit cute. "We will talk about this when I get off the phone."

"Mommy, I want you to get off the phone but I don't want to talk about it."

It hit me that Amy wasn't actually sick of my voice nor did she want me to disappear - she wanted my attention. I explained to my friend-aleague, excused myself and ended the call.

"Amy, what you said about me going away and telling me to be quiet was not very nice. It hurt my feelings."

"But I wanted you to get off the phone."

"Then, the next time, you can tell me how you feel and say it nicely. You can say 'Mommy, I want your attention. Can you please get off the phone?'"

"Okay. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Not cute. Not cute.

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)  

Must Be Really Sick


As you know, Amy woke up with a fever yesterday. I ran her to the doctor because there were no symptoms other than fever.

Amy danced around the office and played the entire time. I told the doctor that Amy walks around that office like her name is on the letterhead. She does!

She took a long nap yesterday afternoon and woke up with vigor. Except that her behavior was quite unusual.

We put on "Frozen" and we started singing along. Fun, right?

We made it through about 20 minutes of the movie before Amy said, "I don't want to watch anymore. I want to do homework."

Amy sat down and did five worksheets of homework. One friend said that if this scenario happened in  her house, that the world would come to an end!

Homework!

I joke about her behavior but really, I'm a little nervous. She woke up today without any fever and with a higher level of energy than she had yesterday.

Why would she spike a fever one day and then the next day, no fever and no symptoms. The doctor said that we should see symptoms in a day or so. I find this whole thing really strange.

http://newworkingmominbr.blogspot.com
@workmomblogamy (www.twitter.com)