Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Sick Day to Remember

My six-year old son experienced his first sick day home from school yesterday.  He made it through all of kindergarten without missing one single day and it's taken this long for the germs to find him this year. 
He was legitimately sick - fighting off a head-cold and fever so he had every right to stay home but we made sure it wasn't a fun experience.

Although he's doing really well in school, it's not a place he'd choose to go so when he woke up Monday morning and said "As a treat today, can I stay home from school?", my husband and I knew we had to make the day anything but a 'treat'.  This kid has taught me how to think on my feet and not show fear so I quickly explained to him that he would need to not only get work done while he was home for the day but also make up the six hours of class work he missed.  I ran to the book shelf and pulled out some random math workbooks we had and told him to pick two addition and two subtraction pages (luckily they were Transformers themed so it wasn't too painful), complete two book reports, and write out his spelling words that his younger brother would be bringing home at the end of the day.  I also e-mailed his teacher and had her send home a packet of worksheets he missed to make sure he saw the gravity of missing a day of school.

And the best part was that between his father and his grandmother, he wasn't allowed to even look like he was enjoying his day at home.  Every time he moved from the couch they directed him to lay down again and wouldn't let him exert himself in any way.  As an exhausted, over-stressed mom I would love to be told to stay on the couch but for a 'very energetic since the Ibuprofen kicked in' kid, this was torture!

Now you may ask, did it work?  Does he understand that sick days are to be home and be sick?  My answer is YES!  Today he got out of bed, took a shower, got dressed, ate breakfast, and went off to school without a hint of longing for another day at home.


Aimee is the owner of Kite Tails and mom to two wonderful little monsters ages 4 & 6.

One and Done…Really

I have actually heard someone ask a pregnant woman when she thought she would have her next child. This woman has not even given birth to the child in her belly and some impatient, nosey person wants to know when she will have the next one. It is insane. Just after we received EJ’s referral, people asked us if we thought we would adopt again. We had not even finished our first adoption! To get people crazy I would say, “No, we are done. One and done.”

At the time, I had no idea if I meant that statement or not. Mike and I had always discussed two kids and so I had always assumed that we would, in fact, adopt again. After a few months home, Mike began to express that he was pretty darn happy with EJ and could be done. I would brush him off, laugh and say, “I don’t think so”. I don’t remember when it happened exactly (could have been the 365th day in a row that EJ did not sleep through the night) but at some point I realized I really was “one and done.”

Parents who choose to have just one child can often be treated (by other parents) almost as badly as those who have chosen to not have children at all. People can be condescending and flat out rude.

“One kid? He will be lonely! How can you do that to him?”
“Oh you don’t mean that. I promise you will change your mind!”
“You have to have at least one more! Only children are too spoiled.”

I had no idea this decision could cause this much controversy. It is, in a way, a selfish decision. Mike and I like the idea of one. Yes, it is easier and cheaper and we like that. We like the idea of being able to focus and “spoil” EJ and ensure he goes to a good school. We want to do some traveling and buy a bigger house and having one child will allow us to do this. I was lucky enough to stay home full time with EJ for a year and now just work part-time. Adopting again would mean me going back to work full-time and working full-time after the baby came home. We are just not willing to do that. And yes, we don’t want to start all over again…sounds awful but it is true. But mostly, we feel like we got so lucky with EJ and he is far more than we could ever have hoped for, that we don’t need anyone else. We like it just the three of us and perfectly happy being one and done!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Popsicle Bath

Thanksgiving is a special time for me and my new family. My husband wrote his first (and only?) love letter to me. He also proposed to me a few years later in front of his family after the meal. Then the babies came.

I had the party this year moved from my house because my one year old was sick. This was a blessing for not having to do the detail cleaning I was expecting for entertaining. 

It was still disappointing, but I will cherish this year's holiday as I had the genius idea of giving my kids a popsicle bath. Warmth from the water and small bathroom, steam for stuffy noses, automatic cleanup, novelty (so my poor son would actually eat the popsicle), relaxation, and busy hands so it didn't end up in anyones hair.  

I'm so curious what I will accumulate in holiday memories. Will they get any stranger. What has been your strangest holiday with the kids?


Sue Eldridge is a stay at home mom with no time on her hands. She has been married for 3 years, has a two year old, and a one year old. She keeps busy with obvious duties as well as her own home business. She plans to homeschool and go back to college when her children are old enough to tutor her. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving eve, I'm thinking of all the wonderful things there are to be thankful for and just wanted to let you know that each and every Kite Tails family is on that list! 

From those of you who come 2 or 3 times a week, to those I've only met once, thanks for coming in!  I am truly grateful to all the moms, dads, grandparents, nannies, and babysitters who make Kite Tails part of their day.

I am thankful for the cheerful smiles that walk through the front door and all-out tantrums on the way out from those who want to keep playing.

Thank you for all the hints, ideas, suggestions, and critiques that have helped Kite Tails grow better every day.

I am grateful for all the little faces who brighten my day by sneaking behind the counter to say hello or draw a special picture to put on our wall or take me by the hand to show me their latest creation or discovery.

Thank you for your understanding when my plans don't go as I expected or my 'staff' (a.k.a. my mom & dad!) aren't quite sure how to do something the way Miss Aimee does!

Miss Anna and Miss Nora - a huge thank you for teaching wonderfully enriching classes and being patient (and adventurous) as we try out new schedules, formats, and ideas.  And thank you to the moms who have bravely stepped forward to help run the show when I can't be there.

But this wouldn't be a complete 'thank you' without mentioning my husband, kids, and parents who have been 110% understanding and supportive during this new venture.

So to all of you, thank you!!  And I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and take a moment to think about all you have to be thankful for!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Did I really just say that?

I could never have anticipated the crazy things that I would say to EJ. On a daily basis I often stop after saying something and think, "Did I really just say that?” We will be out at Target, at a doctor’s appointment or at a friend’s house when I am forced to say the most ridiculous things. Some of my favorites include:

Don’t put your hammer in the toilet.
Goldfish don't go in your ears.
Please don't put your toothbrush there (while changing him!).
Get out of the ottoman.
Don't sit on the baby.
Don't eat like a dog.
Don't eat the dog food.
Don't eat the shopping cart.
Don't lie on the doctor's office floor.
And my personal favorite: Don't lick the trash can.
(When EJ went to the doctor’s office for his 18 month appointment, he actually tried to lick the trash can. This was after he lay on the floor in his diaper. I was so horrified.)

The things that change in your life when you become a parent are too numerous to count but I didn’t anticipate this change. I just don’t care what I say and who hears it. I have stopped really caring about what people think in general. It is like you become focused on your own goldfish eating, Sesame Street watching, ABC singing world and anything else going on around you is white noise. I hear other people say these ridiculous things to their kids and I barely blink. I forget what it is like to see a crying, screaming, kicking child in a store and think, “Wow, what is wrong with that parent? Can’t she control that kid?” Now I look at the mom and think, “God, I hope that woman gets a nap today.” 


Lauren Jordan is a part-time stay at home mom.  She has been married for 7 years and is the mom of a very energetic, hilarious 2 year old boy!  She hopes to some day get a full night of sleep. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

The “Real Hammer”

EJ came home from Ethiopia at 7 months old. Up until then, he really had not seen many toys and never had something of his own to attach to. His first toy was a blue butterfly teether that we gave him that first day in Ethiopia. He was amazed by it and for months he really loved his teether. He would hold on to it and look for it but he never really “attached” to it.

We had tons of cute animals, small blankets and lovies. We tried them all; giving them to him one at a time to see if he would discover that one favorite item. Some he tossed aside immediately, others he would play with for a week or two. We would start to think that he had finally chosen only to have him toss it aside and move onto something else. I began to think that he would never really have a comfort item and for some reason this upset me.

So two years later, he has stuffed animals and blankets that he likes but nothing that he absolutely has to have at all times or in order to sleep. That is until the hammer…

A few months ago, EJ began his obsession with Bob the Builder and all things tool related. We bought him a tool bench and a tool box with tools and he was in heaven. From day one, he loved his “real hammer” (it was larger than the baby little tikes hammer he had so he called it real!). He hammers the tool bench with it, brings it in the car, eats with it and even sleeps with it. If it goes missing for more than a minute I hear him screaming, “Mommy! Where is my real hammer??” He is obsessed. He tries to take it to school, into stores and even in the bathroom during potty training. If his cousin or a friend comes over and even eyes it for a second, he is quick to place it out of reach.

I am amazed. I had no idea that a two year old could attach to a hammer. I am not sure why I assumed that the item had to be cute and cuddly, but I was thrown by the fact that it was a hammer. And it is not just a passing phase; this has been months of loving this hammer. If only I had realized months ago that maybe soft and cuddly wasn’t his thing. Loud and destructive clearly is!
Lauren Jordan is a part-time stay at home mom.  She has been married for 7 years and is the mom of a very energetic, hilarious 2 year boy!  She hopes to some day get a full night of sleep.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I have to say that I am constantly told in public how amazingly mature my two year old is. “She’s such a good girl. She doesn’t scream and yell like those bad children.” If only they knew how much work went into getting to the store in the first place: made it out of the home and into car seats without crisis (check), clean diapers on (check), large snack consumed for them and me (check), sleep (check), emergency toy in pocket (my husband and I call them our Ace) (check), pretending that I am excited to be at the store with two babies so they think it’s a blast (check), power walking like a maniac not going back for forgotten items (check)...

I actually start thinking, “Well I’m getting pretty good at this.” BUT at the most embarrassing moment (is there really any other kind of moment) all hell breaks loose. The best part is is that the tantrum usually happens the exact day after I tell myself that I’ve got this stuff down. Head held down in shame.

Being in the network of other people going through these same things gives you a great opportunity to feel many different things. Do you compare yourself less or more? Can you even help it? I like to tell myself that the children (that are not mine) that I witness in public breakdowns are always like that so I can raise my self esteem a little bit. But please don’t think that when you see my kids have a break down! LOL

- Sue

Sue Eldridge is a stay at home mom with no time on her hands. She has been married for 3 years, has a two year old, and a one year old. She keeps busy with obvious duties as well as her own home business. She plans to homeschool and go back to college when her children are old enough to tutor her. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Birthday Bash Weekend

I know it's Wednesday but I feel like I'm just now recovering from my son's birthday weekend.  My little Matthew turned the big '4' on November 1st and we celebrated with family and friends over the weekend.  As part of my 'domestic day' last week, I baked Matthew's cakes which I promised I'd share with you.  Although I'm not much of a baker, I do enjoy making my family cakes for special occasions; they're not the most spectacular but they are fun!

For Matthew's Spider-Man celebration, I had to go with Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  I found a very simple and delicious recipe on-line from my friend Betty Crocker and then added a little something extra.  He begged me for a Spider-Man cake but knowing that drawing/designing an actual character wasn't one of my skills, I improvised with some Jack O'Lantern decorations that I found on Halloween clearance!  Check it out!
And yes, I used A LOT of red food coloring!

Cake #2 also followed our spider theme and it was so easy to make!  Blue frosting, red gel circles, and simply pulling a knife gently towards the middle.  I also found the spiders on Halloween clearance!
At our 'friend' party the next day we really lived it up with a visit from Spider-Man himself!  And our time from Spider-Man wouldn't be complete without 6 cans of silly string and a major mess in the back yard!
And here's my little man as happy as can be with his face painted and eating a cupcake and ice cream!  (Thanks Jess for the delicious chocolate cupcakes!)

Happy Birthday Matthew!  You sure make life fun!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Co-Sleeping = No Sleeping

Ask any stay at home mom and she will say that nap time is like a lunch break for moms. When you do not get to take your lunch break, it makes for a very long day at the office. The months that EJ was not napping were some of the longest, more trying months of my life. I was so unequipped to handle a new baby, never mind one with sleep issues. So for months I ran on minimal sleep and minimal knowledge. Desperate to make this overtired baby sleep just for an hour and in his own crib. It was exhausting and very frustrating. It eventually led to him sleeping in our bed. Ah yes, the co-sleeping parents. Crazy, hippy people I would have called them. But in reality, they are just desperate, overtired parents who will do anything to get some sleep. We became those parents. So at two, EJ wakes up yelling for me every night and asks to come to our room. He then spends the night kicking, moving and pushing in our bed, so that all 3 of us are never really sleeping (well maybe my husband is).

I know I am mostly responsible, but most nights I am so tired and practically sleep walking, that it has became second nature to grab him and put him in our room. I hate the sleep books, the parents whose kids slept for 12 hours a night since birth, and that Ferber guy…I hate him. But most of all, I hate myself for being unable to fix it. It is an ongoing issue that affects us all and I just can not get a handle on it. The advice comes from everyone:

Let him cry it out.”
Let him cry for a few minutes then go in.”
Put him in the pack and play in your room.”
Sleep on the floor in his room.”
Sit by the door.”

After a while, it all started sounding crazy and was just overwhelming. We even visited a sleep clinic to get professional help. But one cold or stomach bug, a bad day, or tired night and we were back to square one. Nothing seemed to work.

So here I am now, almost two years after bringing our sweet baby home from Ethiopia, sitting on the floor of a dark room for almost two hours every night. I must say, “EJ lay down.” about 100 times. But after two years of rocking and co-sleeping, we need to make sure that he learns to put himself to sleep. I very well may go insane from listening to the Bob the Builder theme song on my iPhone, on repeat, for two hours every night for the next few weeks but this is it. It is our last chance. He has to sleep in his own bed so that we can all get some sleep and get our nights back!

I still hate that Ferber guy…


Lauren Jordan is a part-time stay at home mom.  She has been married for 7 years and is the mom of a very energetic, hilarious 2 year boy!  She hopes to some day get a full night of sleep.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Day of Being Domestic

It doesn't happen too often but occasionally I get a day to 'play mom' and stay home from work and yesterday was one of those days!  Our day began with a fun trip to the dentist for both boys.  I'm very fortunate that the boys actually enjoy going to the dentist and our biggest challenge is getting them to stop talking so their teeth can be cleaned.  And the best news - no cavities!

I then dropped the boys off at school and headed to the grocery store - another domestic task I don't do very often!  Through some coupons and store specials, I saved $75!  It was only a 33% savings but I'll take it!  Here are some coupon/savings/freebie sites that are helpful if you're looking to become a 'couponer'.
And now that shopping is done, it's time to cook!  First on the list is home-made granola!  A friend gave me this recipe this summer but I'm just now getting around to making it.  Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it.

Banana bread was next!  My little guy is on the picky side when it comes to food but loves banana bread so it's a staple in our house.  This is the easiest recipe I've found.  I usually add some whole wheat flour, cinnamon and nutmeg too.

Next on the list was a birthday cake for my son's 4th birthday party!  But I'll save those details for tomorrow!  (hint - he loves Spider-Man!)

And the final parts of my domestic day included some laundry, vacuuming and organizing.  But perhaps the most rewarding part of my day was a walk at a local park.  Although it was only 30 minutes, it was 30 minutes of alone, quiet time when I was doing something just for me!

Looking forward to my next domestic day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


We've hit 700 likes on our FB page so it's time for a give-away!  To win a 6-visit pass, simply answer this question:

If we had $100 to spend on 'something' for the play center, how should we spend it?

Random.org will help me choose the winner.  Please post by Friday November 4th at 5pm.

Trick or Treat Marketing

Along with candy bars, pretzels and lollipops, some kids in my neighborhood will also be pulling a Kite Tails business card out of their trick-or-treat bags this week!  Leave it to my dad, who I left in charge of handing out candy while we hit the streets with the boys, to sneakily drop a business card in each child's bag along with a handful of candy!

I'm still growing into this role as a small business owner and don't always have the 'out of the box' thinking that I need to make KT successful but luckily my dad's 'got my back' and he's always looking out for me.  And although I'm no marketing expert, I'm pretty sure this strategy had all the major components:  we hit our target market, information was relevant to audience, and the info went directly to the potential customers!

And I guess only time will tell if parents found this marketing idea to be intriguing and spooky!

owner of KT, mom of Joshua and Matthew, ages 6 and 4