Thursday, December 30, 2010

The New Year Wish

Happy New Year Jack. 2010 has certainly been a somewhat challenging year for us. This was the year that you decided to become a very picky eater. Please, for 2011, eat some green bean and carrots! Your father and I make it edible. Mac and cheese and pasta can only get you so far with nutrition my son. Time to explore and like the world of the green vegetables. Perhaps is right. If I create your veggies on your plate to look like a tree or sun, perhaps then you will eat it.
2010 also brought us the great sleep debate. We have yet to buy you the real twin size bed. We are sorry about that Jack but please, you must sleep in your bed. Yes, it is small and yes, the heat does come on primarily in your room first. I have slept in your room. I know how uncomfortable that can be. I just need to know the right words, and the right comforting song to put you in the best sleep ever. You have slept the whole night in your room a couple of times. I know it can happen.
Time outs have been introduced, the concept of sharing has been discussed, these are concepts that are still being discussed and yet to be perfected.
This is not to say that you have been a hair- yanking , arghghghghgh screaming child to us. Definitely not. Early 2010 had us wondering what word you were saying, to your father and I being the only ones who understood your words, to now full sentences with us. Your Spanish even has come out this year! Even more so in the past month. I couldn't be more proud.
I hope that 2011 brings everything that you deserve in life - peace, happiness and tranquility. And that is just when you sleep.
2011 may also bring a baptism/child dedication. I can see that you are now old enough to understand when to stay still and listen. Which means that when the priest wants to bless you, you won't be running around the altar. Where will this happen, we don't know yet.
How will you change in 2011? What will you like and dislike? We hope to be there more for you. Time is so busy and sometimes we only have a few minutes together.
I hope 2011 gives us a few extra seconds.
Be safe,
Love Mama and Papa.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Christmas of 2010 - Thomas style

I want to thank each and every family member who contributed to making this Jack's best Christmas yet -My mom and dad, my in laws, The Morrisons, The Yurkos, The Dempseys, The Cejas. And Santa.
Nothing was left behind. Jack played with every new toy like it was the only one in the room. So much Thomas was lying around our house; underwear, books, trains, Thomas lego, Thomas model train set, new wooden Thomas friends, Thomas doodle book.
Christmas was great. Low key at my parents with great food. The only downside was that both Jack and I were sick. He was battling a stomach flu, and I was desperately trying to not have my sore throat win.
It didn't. All I have is a case of the sniffles. Jack is feeling better too. Pictures and video to come soon.
Happy Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Recap of the Night out

When you go out with parents who have children under the age of 4, something is bound to happen. It was seven of us that went out last night, 6 of us are parents. Did I really think that we were going to have dinner somewhere and then go out to have drinks at a bar afterwards? A bar? We were in the burbs, so I relied on my cohorts to find the best place for us to go afterwards. Then, we started sharing stories about our last days of Black Wednesday, and who carried whom up the stairs. All the while , the excitement was building.
And while that was happening, our kids, who are sick, decided to throw up, not sleep at bedtime, go to sleep, but wake up an hour later, cry for their parents, play and watch TV.
One of us got a "frantic" text saying, kids are up, crying, Thank you in so many words. Now what? Have another drink? Sort of go on in the night knowing that our kids, while they are crying and restless now, will eventually go to sleep, cause we know their tricks and that is what they do.
Really, we didn't have the heart to say, "Hey mom, the kids will be alright, so we'll be at the bar down the street. Call us if really necessary."
So, in traditional Berg/Morowczynski/Bilas Holiday fashion, we paid the check, got some Baileys and headed back to our friend's parent's house, where the kiddies were.
Which we had a fantastic time as if we were in a bar. We talked. About anything and everything. Cause that is what best friends do.
The kids did go to sleep immediately afterwards. Jack is sick, but he slept thru the night alright.
My heart goes out to the babysitters of the night, Barbara Berg and Theresa Morowczynski. The two grandmas of the night.
Thanks for giving us at least two hours of kid-less time. It felt great.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Night Out

Two parents that work = never having time to go out with each other. It's a sad but true fact. Jack's daycare teacher, Miss Ronna, has had parent holiday dinners at her house a couple of times this year. I have counted those as our semi -date nights. Only because Jack will run around with his friends and Brian and I can actually sit and talk to adults for about 10 minutes without getting interrupted.
Today, a Christmas miracle is born. Our best friends are in town from St. Paul , their kids will be taken care by their grandparents, Jack will be with Brian's mom, all is good.
7 great people going out to dinner tonight. Thank you Lord for the small great things in life.

The Update to the Delay

So yes, we do have a Christmas Tree. Thanks to the always thoughtful Rich Morowczynski. There was no time that Brian and I would have gone to Home Depot, look at every Christmas tree in every aisle and see which was the best one.
Brian and Rich finally got one last Friday, only because Brian was telling Rich the crazy schedules that we have been having. Finally , the father in law said, Alright, let's go right now to get the tree. Thanks Rich.
It's small and cute. I decided to be green and not put a lot of lights on it this year. Let's save energy right? Usually we put about 5 -6 strands of the small lights and about 2 -3 strands of lights with the huge bulbs. I decided to forgo the huge bulbs, fully knowing that Brian would say, what happened to the big bulbs.
He did.
I told him that we need to save energy and he wasn't having that as an excuse for Christmas.
As of right now, our tree still stands huge bulb-less.
Yes, we do have the Polar Express around the tree. I think this maybe the last year of our train. The lesson of this year is to take care of your Lionel trains, especially around train loving hyped up 2 year olds. Sooner or later, your train will have wheels missing, couplers knocked off and screws loosened.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Proud Moment

Jack " Mama, are you done?"
Me - " Just about, a couple of more minutes."
This was said as I was finishing dinner at my parents. Usually, Jack doesn't want to wait til I finish dinner and starts to pull my hand so I can leave the dinner table. To which I say, Wait a couple of more minutes." And then he starts to do his impatient whine.
Yesterday however was a milestone. He asked, I said wait, and he did.
Let me finish this post by saying that while he asked, he has his hand outstretched.
If I could capture a picture for every adorable, sweetest moment that Jack gives us, there isn't enough film to do so.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Christmas Portraits

One of many for the Holidays 2010. Happy Christmas.

The Cultural Center

This was my dad and Jack as they went to see some friends of ours do a concert there. Thanks a million to Brian for capturing this brilliant moment.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Delay

This was supposed to be a big year for Jack and Christmas. We were going to have a tree, have him decorate, and most importantly have his Polar Express train set up so it would go around the tree.
Actually, I heard a rumour that Brian was going to set the train track throughout the whole living room. I don't know how well that is going to go since A. there is no space and B. we would be tripping over the track going from our room,to the kitchen, to Jack's room.
Once I heard that idea, I quickly gave the one eyebrow raise. Which means, I don't think we will be doing that.
It is December 16 and we still haven't gotten our tree. This month has been crazy hard. Brian has been working a lot, which means Jack and I are at home most of the weekends. It doesn't help that for some reason, Chicago had to get an ice storm in the beginning of the month. Which makes it hard to go out with a young one and have the harsh wind whip in your face, as you try to walk to the train station. Not happening.
So, the train track will have to wait a bit. I voted to go green this year, not get a tree, and somehow fake a Christmas tree on the wall with our Christmas cards or lights. That is when Brian gave me the one eyebrow raise.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Old New Tricks

When Jack was a baby, one of the methods that we would use to make him sleep was just a simple dance.
A stroll around the living room and by the end of the song, he was out for the night.
Now at almost three, he has seemed to be growing out of his naps, and putting him to bed is more of an adventure than the simplicity that it was before.
My dad did mention that he has been using the Dance method for a nap, and that it seems to be working.
I tested that out this weekend.
Saturday - We watching White Christmas and the scene where Bob and Judy announce their engagement comes on. With a song that has lyrics like "The best things happen while you're dancing.." how can you not dance with your kid? So I did, and I sang and swayed. Jack was out by the time Bing Crosby tried to make up with Rosemary Clooney. OUT FOR THE NIGHT!!
Sunday - By 3:30, Jack was rubbing his eyes and fighting the nap. Why do kids fight off naps? You're not going to miss anything. Just bad TV, which your mother will clearly watch.
I had on the Holiday music station and nothing says Good night than The Carpenters singing Have yourself a Merry Christmas. OUT AGAIN!!
He slept for two hours, and by the time he woke up, he was ready and refreshed for dinner.
The best things, truly, happen while you're dancing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Other Kids

This was a great article that I read from the NY Times Motherlode blog, Other People's Kids.
From a perspective of a mom with a toddler who encounters the bully every now and then, I can relate all too well as we have expierienced the same thing.
Yes, Jack does the pushing sometimes at his school. He is still learning on the fact that sharing can be a good thing, and that eventually he will get his toy back. When I see this happen, I immediately correct Jack, in the bestest , softest, but most stern voice that I have.
However, I have seen in more than one occasion of the other kid doing the pushing, the yelling, the biting.
As soon as I see someone else bite my kid, this sense of protection goes into overdrive.I scoop Jack up immediately and all my thoughts start to ramble on in my head that its time to place him in another school, where can we find that school, why is this kid still biting? My instinct is to tell the kid " What is your deal?" and then go to the kid's parent " What is your kid's deal?"And then walk away cause at that point I would be too upset to say another word. My child was bit by someone else. It's not easy to just say, well that is a fact of life. Children will argue, blah blah. My child is upset and crying, It is my job to do the swoop and save. And like the author in the article, give the kid a nasty look.
I have corrected other people's kids. I don't yell or shout, but I do correct them in the same way that I correct Jack. Especially if the parent didn't witness it, you can bet that I am there to tell the kid the ever popular phrase of "That is not nice."
Jack is a sweet kid at school. I refuse to think that Jack is an instigator. Brian laughs when I say that. Because he says that there are times where Jack starts the pushing first, but my response is always " Yes, but where do you think he is learning that from?" Us? I don't think so. However, kids will be kids, and our job as parents is to always lead them in the right direction.
To the new moms out there - when your child gets to this stage, and yes, they will be the instigators at some point or another. Correct them with love.With a hug, Be patient and tell them that we do not push our friends. They will understand.
Jack does get it. I know he does.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Friend

This is Miles Christensen, who is seven months older than Jack. And an all around adorable little guy. I will be posting some pics of Jack's buds. Because it is really sad when 10 years from now, you look at a picture of a child and say "Oh yeah, what was her/his name?"
However, we would never say to to Miles.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Christmas List

Everytime Jack mentions of a toy that he wants, we tell him that he has to write a letter to Santa. I think that momentous occasion will happen this weekend. The list is long , and a bit predictable for anyone who knows Jack.

The List

Thomas the Tank Engine Friends ; Emily, Gordon, Henry, Edward, Jack, Molly, Duncan, Douglas, Arry, Bert, Bertie, Bill, Ben, James, Cranky, Victor, Hiro, Dash, Bash, Ferdinand, Bulstrode, Sir Topham Hatt, Duck, Daisy, Sir Handel, Rheanas, cargo cars, freight cars...etc

Basically all of these guys...only in wooden train form of course.

Listing all these trains just broke my heart. All my little guy wants is just these little trains. Nothing else. Even if he got one or two more new trains, he would be such a content guy. I love him.

Ok , back to the list. He needs sweaters, shirts, pants, socks and underwear. This is what I tell Jack that he needs from Santa.

Anyone know Santa's address? I am a bit embarrased I don't know it.

The First December Weekend

Dear Jack,
We are going to be faced with lots of trials this weekend. Papa will be working basically all weekend. We are on the brink of our first snowstorm. We are supposed to get 6 inches yet how will we get to Cafe Iberico by 5 on Saturday night? Hopefully, CTA will cooperate with us and get us there on time. Also, if I decide to not take the stroller Saturday, please walk with me. 90% of the time you do, yet there is that 10% that wants the kittyback ride ( piggy back ride) and I don't know if I can offer you that sort of entertainment in the snow.
Also, will you nap this weekend? We all know that I am not the parent that can put you down easily. Papa is the master, I am the one that you just want to play with. And while I appreciate that you like me enough to play with all day, let's just nap for once ok??
Sunday, it will be cold. So let's pray that your gloves will stay on. What is with the gloves falling off? Or else, I will have to bundle you in the blanket in the stroller. Believe me, if someone told me
"Hey ,why don't you just sit here, and I will make you nice and warm with a great fleece blanket and I will stroll you around"
I wouldn't even let them finish the sentence. I would hop right in. No questions asked.
So, let's get together and wish for a warm weekend, easy walking, no slush on the ground, and happy dreams and sleep.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Cabin Fever

The Friday after Thanksgiving was as expected. It was very low key. Nothing to do.
We had Thanksgiving at our place, so naturally we were home the whole day. Which was a nice change of pace considering that other Thanksgivings, we go from one house all the way in St. Charles, back to the city by nighttime for another meal. We are always exhausted so to cook and be at home this year was great for us.
Coming into Friday, there was no way that we wanted to spend Day 2 cooped in the house. We sort of were, cause it was blastfully cold that day. Plus the whole universe was out shopping, so there was nowhere decent that we could have gone to.
Alright, so we did make a tiny detour for 15 minutes to buy Brian some snow boots. But , other than that, it was home for us.
I took a nap at 4:30. I never take naps.
Brian took one at 5. When he woke up , he walked to the living room and sat down. And had this really down, I am sooooooo bored look on his face. I could feel it cause I felt the same way.
If I was the marvelous mom, I would have thought of making crafts, painting, coloring, exercising, whatever. Just to keep busy.
However, I just folded fresh,laundry smelling clothes. I said, Alright, let's just go out. Walk around and see the Christmas lights from our neighborhood. That lasted just a block cause it was brutally cold and the wind whipped inside our jackets and Jack kept saying "oh , it's cold , it's cold, it's cold.
Brian finally said" Forget this, let's just go somewhere. Let's get in the car. I don't care where we go so long as it is not at home. "
As soon as we got in the car, we decided to call my best friend and her family, Allie Perez.
Enter the saviors.
Their plan was to go out for sushi and would we like to join them?
It was great. Her oldest daughter is nine months older than Jack , so they hung out together. Brian and I were able to hang out with our friends and have an adult conversation.
Friday night turned out to be brilliant.
Thanks Perez Family.

The First Time

Jack has saved his milestones for my parents. Not us.
He started walking at my parents house.
And now he has done pee in the potty for the first time - at my parents house.

So mark the date - November 29, Jack did pee for the first time. I am seeing this as the start of a beautiful friendship with the potty.