Category Archives: kids

First Day of School

Photo Jul 31, 8 02 53 AM

Yesterday was Jude and Noah’s first day of school. This year they are attending a year-round public school. I’ve had a variety of emotions over the past few months about them going to school this year instead of homeschool. I feel at peace about the decision and know there are many benefits to this decision. It’s not one we took lightly but when we originally decided to homeschool Jude 4 years ago we said we would take it year-by-year and do what was best for each child. I am sad to give up all of our free time and flexible schedule but I think there are so many positive things that will come from their days at school.

As I dropped them off at school yesterday morning they walked into the building holding hands and I knew they would be alright. While they were at school I took the 2 little guys out for a fun morning at Pullen Park and it was nice to spend some quality time with just the 2 of them. I didn’t know what to do with myself all day, it was calm and quiet around the house even with 2 little boys. I think they also liked the extra space they got with their brothers gone. When I picked up Jude and Noah from school they had smiles on their faces and told me all about their days. Noah admitted he was a little nervous but then happily told me about his desk, cubby, recess, story time, lunch and his new teachers. Jude had lots to talk about as well. He is ready to volunteer for all the things and wants to participate in all of the extra activities offered. I also noticed a big difference in Jude’s behavior after school, he was very relaxed and attentive. I think the structured school day really helped him.

After dinner we took the boys for a bike ride to Pelican’s Snoballs where they continued to share their excitement for school. They were all pretty exhausted when bedtime came around and were happy to go to bed, not only because they were tired but because tomorrow was another school day.

I know there will be challenges that come along with each school year but for now I’m so happy their first day was a success. Photo Jul 31, 7 24 18 PM Photo Jul 31, 10 55 45 AM Photo Jul 31, 10 42 03 AM Photo Jul 31, 10 01 01 AM


Weekend Adventures: Mud – Walnut Creek Wetlands

Photo Jun 03, 12 22 05 PM

On Saturday we took the boys to a special program at the Walnut Creek Wetlands Center in Raleigh called, Mud: A Celebration of Wetlands. Some of the families from our Scout Troop met up to enjoy the muddy fun.

There were several different stations where kids could explore, play and learn about mud, wetlands, wildlife and the environment. The boys particularly loved the fort building station which was equipped with bamboo sticks, rope, cardboard and tarps.

Photo Jun 03, 10 09 38 AM Photo Jun 03, 10 12 29 AM

We got to meet several turtles from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and some Salamanders, frogs and other creatures that you might find in the wetlands.

Photo Jun 03, 10 45 56 AM

There were several stations that taught kids about native plants, storm water, pollution and other elements that impact the wetlands.

Photo Jun 03, 10 32 28 AM Photo Jun 03, 11 03 01 AM Photo Jun 03, 11 25 21 AM The big boys and Joe went on a creek walk where they got to a guided tour of the Walnut Creek Wetlands.

Photo Jun 03, 11 55 17 AM

And of course there was mud. Lots of mud to cook with, paint with, and play in.

Photo Jun 03, 10 27 59 AM Photo Jun 03, 11 33 02 AM Photo Jun 03, 11 37 21 AM Photo Jun 03, 11 43 58 AM Photo Jun 03, 11 45 29 AM Photo Jun 03, 12 15 53 PM Photo Jun 03, 12 16 08 PM Photo Jun 03, 12 20 29 PM

It was fun and muddy day and we can’t wait for the next adventure with the Raleigh Parks.

The Tooth Fairy Didn’t Come

Jude lost his first tooth on Sunday afternoon.

A few days prior he was trying to pry two pieces of Legos apart with his teeth, despite us repeatedly warning him to NOT put Lego pieces in his mouth. When suddenly his bottom tooth got wiggly. He ran to me very concerned that maybe he had broken his tooth but I assured him that it was OK if he lost a tooth and it was part of growing up.

After the initial shock of a wiggly tooth wore off he didn’t mention his loose tooth for a few day, until yesterday. Joe and Jude were playing video games while the younger boys napped when out of nowhere Jude announced that his tooth was about to fall out. I was in the other room and asked Jude to come show me his tooth. As he got out of his seat and walked toward me he just pulled out his tooth and handed it to me. No fuss. No tears. Not even a flinch.

Joe and I laughed as Jude stood there holding his tooth with blood pouring out of his gum and he just smiled the biggest and proudest smile.

First Lost Tooth

Later that evening he wrote a letter to the Tooth Fairy.

Deer Tooth Fairy, Come Get My Tooth Please. From Jude.

He placed the letter along with his tooth inside an envelope and carefully put it under his pillow.


That night the boys had a tough time falling asleep due to the anticipation of the coming Tooth Fairy. They requested to open their window so the Tooth Fairy could get in but we denied their request and assured them the Tooth Fairy would find a way in.

In the morning Jude walked into our bedroom with the saddest look on his face.

The Tooth Fairy didn’t come. All night and the Tooth Fairy never came. The letter is still under my pillow.

I asked Jude to bring me the letter from under his pillow so I could see. As he came back downstairs with the letter he said, “This letter looks different. It has my name on it.” He then opened the letter and realized that he didn’t look closely at the envelop and that the Tooth Fairy did in fact come.


He has decided that the $1 the Tooth Fairy gave him isn’t enough money to buy much so he is going to save it until he loses more teeth and can buy something awesome.


Painting with Okra

Our weekly produce box arrived and in it I found okra, I’ve never cooked okra so I had not idea what to do with it.

I created a fun okra recipe which I will share with you later but I also used it during Jude’s craft time.

painting okra

Supplies needed

I first covered the table with newspaper/cut up brown paper bags. Even though the paint is washable it’s easier to just toss the dirty paper than wipe down the table.

painting okra2

We found that it’s easier to use a paintbrush to apply the paint rather than dipping in straight into the paint. It gets too gloppy if you dip hence losing the beautiful flower like pattern.

painting okra3


We had a lot of fun painting with okra. Jude was super excited when he discovered the floral pattern that it made. It was a fun way to explore nature together.

I received the paints from Rich Art and I got the okra from the weekly produce box I purchase from Lees Produce. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by anyone.

Halloween Costumes that keep on giving

Jude was Spider-man last Halloween. We got him a store bought costume which was perfect for the evening but when he wanted to wear it every day it started to fall apart. I mended the tears as best I could but eventually it was just too far gone. Being that it was cheaply made in the first place I was surprised that it made it as long as it did.

I learned a valuable lesson last Halloween, kids love to play dress-up… every day.

So this year instead of spending $20 on a cheaply made costume we spent $20 on a nice pair of pajamas.

Jude wants to be Spider-man again this year and the Disney Store has the cutest Spider-man pajamas so we opted for Spidey PJ’s instead of a costume. This way he an be Spider-man every night he he desires.

We’ll pair his pajamas with a fun mask and he’s ready to go trick-or-treating.

I know the “pajamas as a costume” bit won’t last forever but at this age he just wants to play pretend all the time so why not.

That Time When the Target Employee Almost Called the Cops

I’m pretty sure a Target employee was following me around the store the other day.
I’m also pretty sure she was trying to determine weather or not she should call the police or child protective services.

That is not a good feeling when you’re a parent.

Let me give you a little insight into why the employees and patrons of Target were concerned for the well being of me and my children.

After a nice lunch with Joe I decided to stop by the Super Target to pick up a few grocery items we needed. When I parked next to the cart return I noticed the big cart that allows you to seat 2 children. Although Noah wasn’t technically old enough I decided to use the cart anyway (btw, he did awesome and loved the new cart experience).

Jude however, was a little too excited to be that close to his brother.
We’ve been working on teaching Jude the idea of “Keeping His Hands To Himself” but apparently it’s a tough concept.

He kept poking, touching, and hitting Noah. Every time I stopped him and told him not to mess with Noah but he was feeling particularly testy that day. He kept pushing the limit and my fuse kept getting shorter. Every time he made Noah cry my voice got a little deeper and a little louder.

Then he pushed a big NO-NO button.

He tried to strangle his brother.

I was looking at an item on the shelf and look over to see Noah turning red and Jude laughing. At that point I lost it. I got right in Jude’s face, grabbed his hands and VERY STERNLY told him that was NOT OK and that he was NEVER to put his hands around anyone’s neck.

I guess I got a little loud because all eyes were on me.

I didn’t use any inappropriate language.
I didn’t hit him or use any excessive force.

But I was VERY serious and VERY straightforward about the severity of the situation.

I’m assuming no one saw the part where he was strangling his brother because I would assume most people would understand that type of action requires very STRICT and IMMEDIATE intervention.

I was furious but also humiliated.
My child, who can behave acceptably in public, was out of control and had pushed me to my limit. I felt I handled the situation as best I could and I don’t regret being strict with him but no one wants to have their tough parenting moments flaunted in the middle of Target.

Super Why Live Review

Last night I took Jude on a Mother/Son Date to see Super Why Live. I waited until about 30 minutes before we needed to leave to tell him where we were going. Here is his response. (BTW he is wearing underwear.)

Before the show we stopped to have dinner at Chick-fil-a. He was so excited to see Super Why Live that he didn’t finish his dinner.

The show was in downtown Raleigh at the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts.
Jude waited very patiently for the show to start.

He absolutely loved the show. He was beaming the entire time and singing along with the songs.

I was curious as to how they would bring the animated characters to life but they did a decent job. Obviously the proportions of the animated kids was a little off when adult actors filled the roll but I think otherwise it was very well represented.

My favorite part of the show was the aerial silk acrobat. I didn’t expect to see acrobatics as a part of the show.

After the show we rounded out our evening with a stop at the Krispy Kreme for a donut. Jude said they were “fun bagels!”

We stayed out a little later than usual but he did wonderfully and loved the one-on-one time we had together. So did I.

This morning at the breakfast table Jude told me that “Super Why Live was fantastic!” I think that pretty much sums up our evening.

Super Why Live is still touring the South East. See if there are tickets still available in your area.

I received the tickets to the featured event in exchange for my honest opinion, the comments expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.

The Fantastic Fours

jude 4 years old

No, not the comic book superheros.

You now how people say, “The Terrible Twos” or “The Terrible Threes”? Well, there is apparently a “Fantastic Fours”.

Seriously, something magical happened when Jude turned 4.

  • Potty Training clicked
  • He began to understand reasoning
  • He has started to listen and obey more frequently
  • His patience has grown
  • The tantrums are fewer

It’s bizarre really, because other than turning 4 nothing has really changed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining I’m just mystified as to these recent turn of events. Granted we still have our moments, I mean he is only 4 years old. But I used to think I was stuck with a strong-willed, stubborn child when really he was just being 3.

This is just another one of those parenting moments when I realize what I thought was going to kill me was only a phase and this too shall pass.

So a little encouragement to all the moms who are wrestling with their little ones being “wild” and “strong-willed”, they will grow up! That’s not to say there isn’t discipline that needs to take place but if you are consistent and patient (the Lord knows you need a LOT of patience for 2 and 3 year olds) they will come through fairly normal kids.

We’re only a few weeks into the “Fantastic Fours” but I’m looking forward to what this next year holds.