Category Archives: Nemo

My wish for everyone is a best friend, an enduring friendship.

I have so much to say about this article– as a wife and as a mother of a son.
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Why Do We Murder the Beautiful Friendships of Boys? by Mark Greene, Author REMAKING MANHOOD-Senior Editor, Good Men Project

 
My instinct with both my son and my husband is to nurture their friendships- their relationships other than their relationship to me. I neither want a monopoly on their affections nor wish them to be dependent on me as their sole source of emotional support.
 
I encourage my husband to maintain his friendships. I facilitate it when I can. I consider it a priority. I feel happy when he leaves for a game convention with his dear friend. I shoo the kids out of his office when he has game night with his friends that always start with catching up, jokes, and life updates. I’ve never once begrudged him his time with his friends. That is important.
 
For my son, he is facing separation from his best friend. They love each other, clearly, and are each other’s favorite person. But they will be starting kindergarten in different school districts. The parents are already laying plans for how to maintain their friendship. Plans for karate lessons together. Playdates and sleepovers.
 
When my son tells me how much he loves his friend I reply, “I know you love him. Doesn’t that make you feel good?” Just the other day he told me that during a sleepover he hugged his friend and his friend didn’t even wake up! It was adorable to see how happy he was, to know he’d been so overcome with love and affection for his friend that he just had to hug him.
 
I know how important my friendships are. I love so many people, and am loved in return. It never occurred to me to think it was different for male friendships. And actually, this piece makes me wonder about platonic friendships between opposite genders, or between two people who are seen as potential romantic partners. (The article discusses homophobia, but seems to assume there are no friendships between gay boys that remain platonic, or at least doesn’t address them).
 
Just let go of worries of convention. I have had moments with my son where I feel uncomfortable- like when he wants his nails painted, or when he says he wants to marry his best friend, but I stop myself. I realize that the feeling of discomfort is not because I think something is wrong, but because I know others would be critical and find it wrong for a boy to paint his nails pink or marry his best male friend.
 
As long as I can I will protect my son (and my daughter) from the horrors of social pressure. They are too young to understand romantic love. They haven’t had a crush yet. They think (rightly so) that gay marriages are just as normal and common place as heterosexual marriages. They discuss marrying their best friend (my daughter has already picked out names for the daughter she plans to adopt with her best friend). IT IS FINE! They are children! Let them be!
 
My wish for everyone is a best friend, an enduring friendship.
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Crisis

The image of 3 year old Aylan laying face down in the sand. It broke me. I saw my 3 year old son. I imagined the desperation of his parents to flee.

I watched the videos of families laying in the streets of numerous cities with nowhere to go. I wanted to climb through the screen, find a displaced family and bring them home with me. Keep them safe. Give them comfort. Instead, I immediately went online and looked for ways I could help.

I signed this petition urging the British government to act. I signed this petition urging the US government to act.

I made a donation to the UN Refugee Agency, and another to the Migrant Offshore Aid Station. I filled out the paperwork to ensure my employer matched my donations.

It did little to quiet my conscience. It did nothing to erase the image from my mind every time I looked at my own son.

This morning I saw this poem.

Mermaids by Hollie Poetry (Source)

Mermaids by Hollie Poetry (Source)

Just heartbreaking. See below for info on more ways you can help the migrant crisis in Europe.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/5-practical-ways-you-can-help-refugees-trying-to-find-safety-in-europe-10482902.html

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Reading

This morning Nemo woke me with this book in his hand, asking me to read it. He climbed in, snuggled up, and we read.

We usually reserve reading for bed time, but perhaps because I was out last night and wasn’t home for bed time, he thought this was a good make-up session.

I do love reading to my kids. The cuddling, the funny voices, the read-alongs to the books they’ve mostly memorized, love it all. Even after an ordeal to get them ready for bed, we can set aside our differences and enjoy a story together.

Later in the day I read this interesting article from the NY Times Well Blog about the benefits of reading on young minds:

The different levels of brain activation, he said, suggest that children who have more practice in developing those visual images, as they look at picture books and listen to stories, may develop skills that will help them make images and stories out of words later on…

Dr. Hutton speculated that the book may also be stimulating creativity in a way that cartoons and other screen-related entertainments may not.

“When we show them a video of a story, do we short circuit that process a little?” he asked. “Are we taking that job away from them? They’re not having to imagine the story; it’s just being fed to them.”

So enjoy reading to a kid! You get the quality time, the laughter, the snuggles, and they get all that and some brain development too.

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What do you wonder? Nerdy Baby artwork for the young scientist in all of us.

I love Tiffany Ard’s Nerdy Baby artwork.  Her books and flashcards feature prominently on my Amazon wish list.

I follow her on Facebook and was in awe of the artwork she posted today.

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Source: Tiffany Ard (Click on the image to see it full-size and read the text on the Nerdy Baby FB page)

What struck me most about it was the idea that there is wonder to be found everywhere, even in the seemingly mundane. And really, that wonder is science.

I’ve written before about how it’s not just make-believe that can spark the imagination.  The world around us if full of amazing things.  I love how Ms. Ard captures that with “What do you wonder?”

Turns out, lucky for us, that Zulily* is featuring several of Tiffany Ard’s prints on their sale site right now!

I picked up two of these prints- one for my daughter, and the other for her fabulous preschool teacher.

I also picked up this one for Nemo, who at 1.5 years already said, “Three, two, one, blastoff!”

And this set of “Art Prints for Young Scientists.”

If the Zulily sale is over and you would like to order prints, or if you want a signed print, check out the Nerdy Baby Site.

Have fun inspiring your young scientist!

*Note- Zulily requires membership to shop.  Some of the links to Zulily in this post are referral links.  You can click here to join, referred by me.  However, you should know that if you join, and purchase something, I will get a $15 credit.  So, if you have a friend who is a member, have that person refer you and he/she will get the $15.  You can also join without a referral, but it usually isn’t instantly.

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Filed under #scimom, Mabel, Nemo, Scientist

Cursed pestilence

We have been ravaged by a stomach bug.  It was going around in the local public schools and quickly made it’s way, via siblings, to Mabel’s nursery school.

She was sick Wednesday and Thursday of last week.  Then Nemo was sick Sunday into Monday.  Note, by sick, I mean, threw up in their sleep and rolled around in it for some period of time before we noticed and had to spend an hour in the middle of the night cleaning the child, the bedding, and the beds themselves.  Perhaps it was punishment for poor parenting choices?  On Wednesday we’d let Mabel get mac n’ cheese on ‘kids eat free’ night at the local red sauce place.  On Sunday we’d let Nemo have Domino’s pizza since it was Superbowl Sunday.

This would have been craptastic on a normal week, however, this week was not supposed to be normal.  Mac had a freelance job to do on-site in NJ.  My company provides a lovely back-up care plan for employees through Br!ght Hor!zons.  The plan seems to consist of a website that lists local daycare centers you can request care from and a bank of operators who call you back and tell you that there is no space in the center you requested, but there is another center on the other side of the Hudson River or 45 miles north of your home (which is 45min in the wrong direction from work).  Alternatively, you could send your 1.5yo to the affiliated center nearby your work that has online reviews discussing how filthy the place is, how unhappy the staff is, and how they restrain children who won’t stay in time out.  None of those alternatives were tenable.

Thusly, we cobbled together childcare from a variety of friends and family so Mac could take the freelance job (households with two working parents who encounter this stuff routinely have my respect and sympathy).  Monday Nemo was to stay with a friend (and her kids) during the day, and Mabel was going to go home from school with another friend.  This solution for Monday flew out the window like Domino’s out of a toddler sometime around 1am.

To complicate things further, on top of the pestilence, there was snow.  We’d been up so much in the night Sunday into Monday, that when we did wake to lots of snow we pretty much gave up.  As it was I had a miserable cold, no sleep, 800 loads of pukey laundry, and a sick toddler.  Mac’s office was closed that day, so I took the day off to recuperate.

Tuesday I was scheduled to work from home (we couldn’t cobble together care for Tuesday and Friday).  I took Mabel to school, spent the morning finger painting with Nemo, and waiting for my dad to arrive in the afternoon so I could take Mabel to the Museum of Natural History for a class we’d signed up for.

Nemo enjoying being an only child for the morning.

Nemo enjoying being an only child for the morning.

Around noontime, it was clear to me that something was wrong with my own GI tract.  I didn’t want to miss out on the already-paid-for/no-refunds class, so I took some Pepto, grabbed some plastic bags (just in case), and headed out.  I made it through and back home, but just barely.

By the time we got home, I knew I too had the stomach bug.  I spent Tuesday night doing what one does when one has the stomach bug.  Thankfully, I’d only had a cup of chicken soup (and not free mac n’ cheese or Domino’s).  However, whilst I was out of commission Nemo spent the hours from 1am to 5am wide awake and refusing to sleep.  Additionally, Mabel woke up (she’d fallen asleep in the car on the way home and I’d just put her into bed in her clothes) screaming that she had to get washed up and put on her PJs.  I tried to help, but figured not puking on the carpet was help enough and retreated, leaving the hysteria to Mac.

Nemo finally settled down and Mac came to bed around 5am.  By 7:30 Mabel was up and raring to go (having forgotten about her 1am sh!t losing).  I crawled out of bed, turned on Doc McStuffins, and laid down on the couch.

A while later, Nemo was awake.  When I went to get him, I found he had again puked all over his bed and self. *Thankfully* it was only a frozen waffle.  However, I was so sick, all I did was take off his PJs, wipe him down with a baby wipe, change his diaper, put him in new clothes, carry him downstairs, and let him lay with me on the couch.

We remained in this state for an indeterminate period of time and Mac awoke to this site, at which point I notified him of the mess in the bedroom. Once that was cleaned up, we sat Nemo down for a light breakfast, at which point he projectile puked up all the water he’d drank that morning. More cleaning and laundry.

In addition to the pestilence, there was more snow- a lot of snow, highways closed, state of emergency declared snow.  So, at least my work was closed and I didn’t have to use more PTO to stay home sick.  However, Mac couldn’t get to NJ for work.

By the end of Wednesday, it had been several hours since anyone had puked, we counted our blessings, and went to bed.

Thursday Mac went to work, my mom came to watch Nemo, and I dropped Mabel at school.  I cautiously made my way to work, and actually made it through the day without embarrassing myself.

I arrived home thinking we’d finally made it through, that we were recovered!  Then Mac came home.

I’m home with the kids again today- none of us have puked since Wednesday- and Mac is at work, but feeling like crud.  I hope he’s just having sympathy symptoms.

It has been a hellacious week (this morning’s breakfast of champions was a Dunkin Donut in the car on the ride to preschool- mom of the year!).  I went into lab one day this whole week. I only managed a few hours of working from home.  It sucks using so much PTO for nothing.

I really hope this is the end of it. I haven’t been that sick in a long time.

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Happy Halloween!

We took it down to the wire and carved out pumpkin last night.  What do you think?

pumpkin mcphdIt was a collaborative effort (meaning my husband did all the work and the kids did their best to thwart him, while I took pictures).

halloween

 

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First Yanks Game!

Every year my company holds an employee lottery for their season tickets to both The Yankees and The Mets home games.

This year I put in for tickets, but only for Yankees Vs. Red Sox games, and wouldn’t you know it- I won!

So, on September 5th, we took the kids to Yankee Stadium, met my sister, and Nemo saw his first Yankees game!  (Mabel’s first game was last year)

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We all had a lot of fun.  Mabel was exited about the singing and the cheering.  Nemo fell asleep around the 5th inning, but woke when the Yanks rallied in the 7th.  We left on a high note during the 8th inning, and we super bummed they lost.  However, all in all, it was a really fun first game!

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