5 things I’m grateful for (September 2021)

So much to be grateful for.

  1. The shift to cooler fall weather. With school starting, I am finding that we’re spending a lot of our non-school time out in the backyard – the boys play, Tamara works on projects, and I read until Jonas asks me to play Incredibles with him. I’ve been loving the afternoons of light breezes and sunny sky.
  2. Edgar has been super sweet and cuddly at bedtime lately. He wants to lay on top of me or snuggled right up next to me as he’s falling asleep. He’ll look up at me and say, “I love you more than anything in the whole world, Mommy. I just want to be where YOU are!” When I say back to him, “I love you more,” he asks, “Can I love you the most?” And I agree – and then he grins super big because he gets to win. Melts my heart.
  3. Jonas got a big boy bed for his birthday, and he loves it. It’s also really changed up the boys’ playing dynamic; since the bed is new and different, they seem drawn to playing on it. Since Jonas’s room has not typically been a room they’ve played in, this has been a big shift for the household, and I can tell it makes Jonas feel more grown-up to have a bed and a room that’s more legit; prior to now, he’s been sleeping in his crib mattress on the floor, since he was ready to be done with the crib but not quite ready for the big boy bed yet.
  4. Two really great easy reads, both by Rebecca Stead – The List Of Things That Will Not Change and When You Reach Me. These are both middle grade novels, and they are wonderful, good-for-the-soul books.
  5. Jonas starting nature pre-school! He went for orientation first, together with Tamara, and then went for his first day and came home announcing, “I went to school ALL BY MYSELF.” We teased him, asking, “Are you sure you didn’t have Edgar in your backpack? Or Sunny and Coco in your backpack?” – and he’d dissolve into giggles, insisting, “No, ALL BY MYSELF!” For a kid who has gone almost nowhere without his parents since March 2020, this was a big deal. Love seeing the boys going off on adventures and coming home to semi-coherently tell us about their days.

Happy September! Cheers to fall and to the new school year!

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (August 2021)

Such a wonderful summer; so much to be grateful for.

  1. The energy and excitement of a new school year approaching. The last two weeks of summer are usually a bit of an anxious time for me. I get excited for the new school year, but I also feel sad and stressed about the end of summer. I’m really trying to lean into gratitude and the things I love about back-to-school time, like school supply shopping (SO CUTE AND SWEET) and the chance to set up new routines and rituals. Edgar seems really ready for school right now; he sometimes seems bored and in need of increased stimulation on our lazy summer days, which is not typical for him. So the start of kindergarten and all that additional everyday learning is coming at a great time!
  2. Time with family. I travelled with the boys to Staten Island and Avalon to spend time with family and it was wonderful. Edgar learned to boogie board and Jonas made up a song and dance about “poopy store,” which is his favorite nonsensical two-year-old thing to talk about.
  3. Silly days + swimming lessons with the boys at our local pool. They attended swim lessons every day (Monday through Friday) for the first two weeks of August. It was so great to see the boys go from “afraid to put their faces in the water” to “fully swimming underwater” in just a few weeks. (Regular, everyday access to the pool was a big help.)
  4. All the books! More great early chapter books to read with Edgar! We started Tracey West’s Pixie Tricks series and he’s been loving those books. Recently we read The Magic Mirror – the first book in the Once Upon A Fairy Tale series – and that was a big hit, too. We occasionally dip back into picture books, and he really just loves to be read to, no matter the book. But I find myself continually so happy and grateful when we are reading longer titles. The novelty is great for me, and I love how excited he gets and the way he begs for “one more chapter” if the last chapter we read ends on a cliffhanger. (I usually give in – mostly because I also don’t want to wait until morning to find out what happens next!)
  5. A few mornings to myself to write. I didn’t get much writing done this summer because of travelling and adventures, and that was okay. But Tamara took the boys on outings for a few mornings in late August so that I could have time to journal and blog and write, and I’m so grateful to have gotten that time for myself before the craziness of the new school year started.

Happy August, everyone! Cheers to a new school year full of freshly-sharpened pencils and lots of learning for all of us.

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (July 2021)

Such a fantastic summer so far. So much to be grateful for, always.

  1. A week of family time at the beach! So happy to spend time enjoying sunshine and family.
  2. Playing at the local pool with the boys. Nearly every day this summer has been a pool day – me, Edgar, and Jonas, the boys jumping into the pool over and over and over again and giggling like crazy all day long.
  3. A few great books I’ve read this summer. During July, I read Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay and The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, both of which were great page-turners. I also read Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah – yet another amazing and compelling book by one of my new favorite authors.
  4. Last night, Jonas crept out of his room and asked if he could listen to a bedtime book with me and Edgar. Typically, we read a book all together on the couch, and then Tamara takes Jonas to his room for “bed books” and I take Edgar to his room for the same. Jonas does love books now, but he tends to get distracted if he’s listening to a book with Edgar; he loves his brother so much and mostly wants to play and be silly. He also isn’t quite ready for longer books, I had thought. (They both loved Mosquitos Can’t Bite Ninjas, though. Put that on your list if you have a preschooler to read to!) But last night, Jonas tucked right in and he listened to the entirety of The Princess In Black and the Giant Problem. Such a sweet moment, and made me really excited and hopeful for more of two brothers together listening to a bedtime story.
  5. Our camping trip! Such a great adventure – two weeks of tent living across six states. The two weeks ended with a camping birthday for Edgar, who is 5 years old now. FIVE. Craziness.

Happy summertime to all!

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (June 2021)

So much to be grateful for.

  1. Our camping weekend in Assoteague! We had such a great time camping at the beach. We saw wild ponies, we semi-successfully slept in our tent for two nights, and we frolicked on the beach. Edgar was really excited at high tide, when a little river was formed up on the shore that he could “swim” in. Jonas literally squealed when he saw the ocean and did not stop moving for one second – running into the waves, running back out, over and over and over.
  2. Our camping weekend at Genesee Valley, the place where Tamara and I met. So fun to be there and to be with friends.
  3. Reading Dragon Masters with Edgar. We’ve been reading chapter books for a little while, and I’ve really enjoyed that. This new series – the Dragon Masters books by Tracey West – has been the best so far. I think they’re the best because a) Edgar has been really into dragons and dinosaurs lately, and b) there are illustrations on every page of the book. When we’ve read the Magic Treehouse books, Edgar starts to try to turn the page to the next illustration – in that series, there are pictures every 2-3 pages.
  4. The books of Ann Patchett and Kristin Hannah. Loving every single one I’ve read recently.
  5. SUMMERTIME! Oh, my goodness, am I glad it’s summertime!

Happy June!

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (May 2021)

So much to be grateful for.

  1. So many good books! Among my faves recently: The Four Winds, The Dutch House, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and The Girls Are All So Nice Here. Currently, I’m reading How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue (author of Behold The Dreamers, which was a wonderful read), and it is incredible.
  2. Early morning coffee and reading. I love waking up early, reading my book, and sipping my coffee. I love knowing that one of the boys will soon wake up, wander out of his room, and crawl up in my lap.
  3. Our Friday pizza-and-movie night! A few months ago, we decided it was time to scale back our COVID era screen time habits. While I was working from home with the boys afoot, they watched a lot of TV shows and movies while I was in meetings, and while it was necessary at the time, it was more screen time than we’d like to continue now that things are returning to semi-normal circumstances. We decided a movie after dinner would only be an option on Friday nights, and that Fridays would be pizza-and-move nights every week. I love it; at the end of a work week, it feels so nice to a) not have to decide, once again, what we’re having for dinner, and b) know that we’ll be able to either clean/tidy while the boys watch, watch the movie with them, or (my fave) sit with them but secretly read our books while they watch.
  4. The boys’ obsession with water play. Edgar started asking for our inflatable pool on the first day when it was 65 degrees. Now that it’s been in the 70s and 80s, we’ve had quite a few afternoons of splashing and playing in the backyard; they both will play happily for hours. So excited to get these boys to the pool club this summer.

Happy (almost or actual) summer, everyone!

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