TJ started summer school today. I could do a happy jig in celebration of this great occasion – TJ going back to school. In fact, I really should. TJ away at school for three hours means much less screaming (by me), much less crying (by Teju), much less mess (by TJ), and in general a whole lot of calm…and quiet…for three hours.
Alas…TJ going away for three hours also means much less laughter (by all of us), much less conversation (I love that girl but she is no conversationalist), much less happening, and much less time to make memories with my little boy.
It also means he is growing up. Fast. With summer school, TJ will graduate to attending pre-school (Yes, offically preschool!! He is no longer in early-preschool) three days a week, for three hours each day. The weeks will fly by. While I was able to do things with him three days a week previously, I will only get to do that twice a week. As Teju is getting older, it is becoming more fun to take them both out together and do things. It is also a little challenging because now I have to run in two directions and keep one eye on each kid as they each do their own thing, still, with both kids walking, I am carrying and holding much less, and Teju is able to explore more things and independently.
On the plus side, I will now get to give Teju her fair share of undivided attention. Just like I did with her big brother, I will be able to take her to story time at libraries, run errands quicker, not have her crying from him shoving, pinching, pushing, or kissing her, give her complete access to all the toys in the playroom, and get her into the world of crayons, colors, and such while going at her pace without big brother’s unconscious intimidating skills. I may even enroll her for Music Together just like I did, her big brother.
The last two weeks since Early-Preschool ended, we have been rolling in summer fun. For whatever reason, we decided to celebrate some of the random days marked on our free calendar that we got from an online store where I once bought some things. Additionally, we did a lot of other things.
Here are the highlights:
June 2 – National Doughnut Day!! Thanks to Krispy Kreme, we were able to get our free doughnuts! I was actually planning to just buy us one and share but a friend let the KK promotion be known and off I went with the kids in tow. After we ran our morning errands, I pulled into my closest Krispy Kreme. After waiting in a short line, we each got to pick our favorite doughnuts. Sadly though, they were out of all but 3-4 flavors. They still had my favorite, the simple glazed one; we managed to get one with some chocolate on it for TJ, and a cream-filled one for Teju that Daddy ate later in the evening. By the time we stepped out of the store, the line was out the door and onto the sidewalk.
Then, the kids and I sat outside the store on a bench and enjoyed our doughnuts. TJ ate half and saved half to eat after lunch.
June 3 – We attended the annual Greek Food Festival. We may not go again. It wasn’t anything to write home about but it was worth a first time visit. I am glad we used their Facebook free entry coupon because it was not worth paying $5 per adult especially since you have to pay for everything once inside. Still, it was a fun outing and we like Greek food.
June 4 – Oh what a day we had! I ran a 5K in honor of my mother who passed away in March and on Mile 2, was joined by the family. TJ even ran and walked with me a little which will always remain a special memory for me. Once home, we did Make-your-own-Pizza for lunch which was really fun!
June 5 – We went to the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo and Teju got to ride her first carousel animal ride. She has sat on a carousel at least 25 time since she was born but this was her first time on an animal all by herself. Tears. Tears…Baby is baby no more…. I had also packed a lunch for all of us so after some exciting rides, as in, the usual rides in cars and Danny the Dragon, we picnicked on the lawns where Teju just took off, followed by TJ as they just walked around the Zoo like they owned it!
Whenever I place the kids on a ride together, TJ always puts his arms around his sister to make sure she doesn’t slip or otherwise try to escape (she is known to do that). Two other moms later complimented TJ on how sweet he was toward his sister and what a good big brother he was! He is.. when he is not pushing or hurting her (mostly out of love but on purpose).
June 7 – I took the kids to Santana Row. Just because. Nothing was happening there, I just needed to go there for work and of course, since I now consider myself a work-from-home-or-anywhere-mom, the kids came along too. We visited The Container Store where TJ got to buy a water-snack container combo bottle, and then to H&M where I found some incredible deals on winter stuff – bought them all in the 4T/5T range for when TJ gets older :), some leggings for Teju and we were out of there. The fun thing for TJ at this store was climbing escalators.
He wanted to climb one up. At least, unlike the time he was 2-years-old and would throw a tantrum for not letting him go up and down a million times, this time, he was within reason. Still, I had a baby in a stroller and him. I parked the stroller at the bottom of the escalator and just prayed nobody would run away with her, quickly but gently grabbed TJ’s hand and led him up the escalator. Once up, I told him to stay right by a big mannequin and asked him NOT TO MOVE. I showed him where the elevator was and told him I would emerge out of there with Baby in a few minutes. He understood. I got down the escalator, got the stroller (and Baby), and got up to TJ who was sitting on the platform on which the mannequin was studded. A curious employee was just wondering about him and upon seeing me asked, “Does he belong to you?” Oh he did!!!
Later, after our shopping, when we wanted to get down, he, of course wanted to go down the escalator so I let him. I told him I wouldn’t be going with him this time, that he could do this on his own, and that he needed to get off just before the yellow line at the bottom of the escalator. I watched as he confidently went down the escalator. I waved. He turned around to give me a huge smile and a loving wave. Non-verbally with my eyes, I told him to turn around and focus on the yellow line. Down went my little big boy on the escalator and stepped off right in time, nonchalantly and like he had done it all his life! The first time I rode an escalator was when I was 17, at Mumbai Airport, on my way to Japan. I was so proud of him!
Still in Santana Row, the kids and I later lunched at a Mexican restaurant. I don’t always have a fun time eating out at restaurants with kids when it is just me, still, I want to keep doing it so they know what to expect, learn how to behave in public, are aware of proper restaurant eating etiquettes, and so on. We had a rough start but once I decided to forgo the highchair, keep Teju in her stroller and just push it closer to the table, give TJ a bunch of cushions to raise the height of his chair seat, and had the kids snacking on the complimentary chips (no eye roll, please…whatever saves my sanity is what I will do), we were all quiet and even able to enjoy the outside seating and yummy lunch.
This day also happened to be National Chocolate Ice-Cream Day!! So guess what!! In the evening, after dinner, all of us got into my car, including Aaron, and off we drove to a Mom n Pop ice-cream place, Goodies Homemade, and enjoyed our delicious ice-cream.
June 9 – Visit to the Great Mall! We didn’t need to buy anything but we did need something to do so off we went. A first for Teju was getting to go on some mall rides with her big brother. She sat on a car and a firetruck with him and she just took it all in stride, like, of course she would be riding a toy car and firetruck. What’s so shocking about that! Surely, she does not understand or appreciate them so much now. Maybe in the future. What works for me is that I didn’t mind spending $1 on a ride especially since it works out at $0.50/child. Haha.
June 13 – We had a fun day today as well. First, we visited Santana Row for their Mommy & Me and Daddies too event (held every first Tuesday of the month between May-December). The kids did some crafts for a little bit, disinterestedly, and then snacked. We were late getting there so we missed Andy Z – I have heard so much about this guy but never really seen him…one day, maybe. He is supposed to be really good as in, his music.
Then, because we had wanted to check out milkshakes at The Counter, I put the info into my phone’s GPS only to discover that the place was LITERALLY right behind where I was standing!
So I got a Make-Your-Own milkshake with brownies, strawberry, and rainbow sprinkles (vanilla base), that I asked for in two cups. Must say, these were really good milkshakes. TJ surely enjoyed his, as did his Mommy 🙂
Later in the evening, thanks to another friend informing me of this promotion, I learned that Jamba Juice was giving free 16oz smoothies for Golden State Warriors’ fans (after our amazing win!) and so at 5:00 p.m., I grabbed both kids, told Aaron (who was working from home that afternoon) that the kids and I were going out for smoothies (like that is the most natural thing to do with a 3-year-old and a 14-month-old) and away we went. What fun! Also grabbed some Panda Express for dinner on our way back.
June 14 – Children’s Discovery Museum to meet Thomas the Train Engine. I was going to wait until September to go see this exhibit when it would be quieter with less kids coming off field trips, a pet peeve, and taking over the exhibit room but the night before, when putting TJ to bed, out of nowhere he asked, “Mommy, can we go to the Museum tomorrow”? What mother would say no to a child voluntarily asking to go to a Museum!? Not this one. He had no idea about the Thomas exhibit. He wanted to go to the Museum to play on the big red full-size firetruck. When I told him about who else he would see there, he was beyond excited.
CDM had a big Thomas inflatable on their roof so from the minute we got close to the Museum and he was able to see Thomas, he was SOOOOO excited. He was very controlled in his emotion and very patient while I parked the car, got the stroller and Teju out, placed her in the stroller, while we all walked to the parking payment booth and did all of that. He was jumping in place, clapping his hands in glee, with big smiles all over. All of his reactions totally made the trip worth it.
Once inside, I had to renew my expired membership, and after that, we headed straight to the Exhibit. He did not even glance at the firetruck which is usually where he spends the most time on other visits.
Teju had a great time at the Museum including the Thomas exhibit, walking around and exploring everything whereas, once TJ saw the gigantic train board, that was all he did. It took some effort toward the end to pull him off there so he could see the other things, like Percy, his favorite engine. Overall, the kids had a lot of fun as we went to other parts of the Museum too.
For me, it was a wonderful new experience watching Teju explore CDM so much on her own instead of just watching the world go by while sitting inside a KTan, Ergobaby or stroller. I’ll write more about this at some point.
June 15 – We decided to keep it local and just went to our local park. We still had fun. The kids explored the many playground equipment and enjoyed themselves. The most fun for me was to watch both kids do things together. Teju wants to do everything her brother does and he almost always wants her to go along with him on his adventures. It is a pleasure to watch them even as I have to be aware of age-appropriate activities.
June 16 – I dragged the kids to my pharmacy and eventually ended up in Costco where all three of us really like sampling different things. Even the kids are pros now and look for sample booths. Haha.
We took it easy this weekend even with Father’s Day. On Sunday, we had a fun backyard water splash fun. It was 98 degrees so we filled up their plastic pool with water, made some water balloons, and together, with squirters, got each other soaking wet. It was fun and really helped cool us all down.
My little big boy is at school now. Teju is up. She barely napped for 30 minutes. Time to get her up and go run some errands.
Life, as usual.