Skip to content

Life with Junior -- Archives

    Showing 21 - 40 of 95
  • Average rating:
    Our Adoption Journey (Part 17)

    Of course, just hours after arriving home with our daughter, the calls and emails started flooding in: “When can we come over and meet her? How can we help?” Word had gotten out that we were overnight dads. People wanted to cook and clean for us and run our errands. People at work wanted to help cover for us. People wanted to come pitch in and help feed and care for our daughter.

    The doctors had warned us that since she was “only” five pounds and since it was smack dab in the middle of cold and flu season, that we should be very selective about whom she was around and how much face time she got with others. The hospital had even provided us with a box of surgical masks for people to wear, and we supplemented those with a giant Costco-sized tub of hand sanitizer. We were ready for her to meet all of her friends and family.

    It became immediately apparent that everyone in our lives was as excited or more excited than we were about our daughter...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Alec MacKenzie on Nov 29 2010 11:22AM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    Our Adoption Journey (Part 16)

    (NOTE: So sorry for the long delay between posts! I am a teacher and the beginning of the school year caused me to let other “non-teacher” things slide. Unfortunately, this blog was one of those things. I’ve got a holiday today, so I’ll try to make up for it!)

    It was a rainy, drippy day as we pulled up in front of our house with our new daughter. She had spent the long car ride happily snoozing in her carrier in the back seat. We tried jostling her just a touch so she could be awake as she entered her new home for the first time. While I got her carrier out of the car, my partner readied the video camera to record the first of many “firsts”.

    I still watch the video of that first entrance into the house and well up. It’s pouring rain, the skies are gray, and our little girl has just spent over two weeks in the hospital, but all you can hear is the joy coming from both of us on the video. We riff back and forth about all of ...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Alec MacKenzie on Nov 12 2010 9:44AM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    Communicating While They're Abroad

    In a word: Skype! It is a wonderful tool and it's free! Our son has been in Italy for the last 2 and half months and I have had a virtual tour of his apartment, I've "met" his roommates, but best of all, I get a visual of him regularly! The other day I asked him to stand up so I could see the straight leg jeans he was sporting (very form fitting), with the black V neck T shirt: "very European, Mom." I guess, but I told him that I was looking forward to grandchildren someday. This comment he didn't much appreciate. Oh well, I AM his mother. I let it go, after all, "when in Rome!"

    The next best thing: Gchat through Gmail/Google or chat through Facebook. We haven't had as much luck with Google's version of video talk, but when we both are on our Gmail accounts or Facebook, there might be that wonderful green ...

    More >>

    Posted by Mrs. Beppie Weintz Cerf on Nov 11 2010 10:35AM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    Growing Up in NYC

    It's been a long time since my last post here - life has just been very busy. So let's start with Cameron's experience in New York City over the summer. If you read my post from February, you recall that he decided to attend the Joffrey Ballet School (JBS) summer ballet intensive in New York City.

    This program requires a lot of maturity on the part of the students. They live in a residential hotel-style building on the upper west side and dance at Joffrey's studios (and some at NYU) down in Greenwich Village, about 75 blocks away. If allowed by their parents (we did allow this), the kids can take the subway by themselves back and forth to class. For Cameron, a frequent BART rider, this was no big deal.

    The most challenging part of the living arrangements was food. Unlike m...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Marty Beene on Nov 10 2010 1:19PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    Candy Hangover

    It's November 1, which means every child in America is begging for yet another piece of candy. We let our daughter have two pieces after trick-or-treating, which was like holding a shark back from a herd of sleeping seals. She asked this morning if she could have candy for breakfast. Um, no. Last year this wasn't an issue: she went to four houses and came home with her tiny fistful of candy. This year? This year her goal was to "get a million candies." She came pretty close.

    And thus we confront an age-old question--What do we do with the candy? I briefly considered employing the Great Pumpkin to take away some percentage of the candy and leave a present, but our festive Jessie the Cowgirl had her fourth birthday only a week ago and I couldn't stomach one more toy in the house. But I don't think I can let her eat it all--at one candy per day it'll last her until 2011. Perhaps let her binge and hope that it squelches all desire for sugar? Never worked on me. 

    ...

    More >>

    Posted by Ms. Summer Moore Batte on Nov 1 2010 2:52PM | 1 comments

  • Average rating:
    Candy Hangover

    It's November 1, which means every child in America is begging for yet another piece of candy. We let our daughter have two pieces after trick-or-treating, which was like holding a shark back from a herd of sleeping seals. She asked this morning if she could have candy for breakfast. Um, no. Last year this wasn't an issue: she went to four houses and came home with her tiny fistful of candy. This year? This year her goal was to "get a million candies." She came pretty close.

    And thus we confront an age-old question--What do we do with the candy? I briefly considered employing the Great Pumpkin to take away some percentage of the candy and leave a present, but our festive Jessie the Cowgirl had her fourth birthday only a week ago and I couldn't stomach one more toy in the house. But I don't think I can let her eat it all--at one candy per day it'll last her until 2011. Perhaps let her binge and hope that it squelches all desire for sugar? Never worked on me. 

    ...

    More >>

    Posted by Ms. Summer Moore Batte on Nov 1 2010 2:52PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    A mom walks into a school meeting...

    When my son was born, I decided that if he demonstrated a fair amount of intellectual curiosity, I would set the bar high and gently nudge him toward it.  But no matter what anyone says, no parent really knows what they’re doing.  We’re just making our best estimation based on pressure from other parents, too much advice from our own parents, parenting books, and our own experiences. Then it finally occurs to us that no matter what we do, our children will most likely decide we did the wrong thing and hold it against us for all eternity.  Staring inevitable right in the face, I continue to try and make the “right” decisions.

    So in I walk to this meeting for parents about the advanced placement program at my son’s new school.  I figure it is best to be well informed just in case he yields test scores indicating he’s brighter than the average bear.  As I wait for the instructor to begin, I hear a mom behind me tel...

    More >>

    Posted by Ms. Pilar Nicole Camarillo on Oct 8 2010 2:16PM | 2 comments

  • Average rating:
    It Gets Better When We Get Better

    Maybe you have seen the recent “It Gets Better” campaign, in which celebrities urge LGBT youth not to take their own lives.  It’s a tragic campaign really, putting the spotlight on how trapped today’s kids feel by bullying.

    It made me wonder how kids can be so cruel to one another.  Then it made me mad.  Why is everyone trying to convince the victim not to commit suicide?  Why isn’t anyone telling those bullies to stop?  And what about their parents? Who are the horrible parents of these horrible kids?

    Certainly I’m not one of those parents.  I’ve never taught my kids that it’s all right to take out my anger, frustration, and insecurity on someone else.  I’ve never acted in a way that would encourage such awful behavior in my children.

    It’s not like I’ve ever had a bad day at work then yelled at my five year-old for something as trivial as spilling his wate...

    More >>

    Posted by Ms. Eileen Hung-Kwong Tse on Oct 7 2010 11:42PM | 5 comments

  • Average rating:
    They're Abroad and There's Been a Travel Alert Issued!

    A travel alert was just issued Sunday (10/3/10) and as a Mom of a Gen Yer abroad, what would any other sound minded Mom do? 

    First, do NOT panic.

    2) Go online and read what's there.  CNN

    More >>

    Posted by Mrs. Beppie Weintz Cerf on Oct 5 2010 2:28PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    They're Abroad and There's Been a Travel Alert Issued!

    A travel alert was just issued Sunday (10/3/10) and as a Mom of a Gen Yer abroad, what would any other sound minded Mom do? 

    Frist, do NOT panic.

    2) Go online and read what's there.  CNN

    More >>

    Posted by Mrs. Beppie Weintz Cerf on Oct 5 2010 2:26PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    They're Abroad and There's Been a Travel Alert Issued!

    A travel alert was just issued Sunday (10/3/10) and as a Mom of a Gen Yer abroad, what would any other sound minded Mom do? 

    Frist, do NOT panic.

    2) Go online and read what's there.  CNN

    More >>

    Posted by Mrs. Beppie Weintz Cerf on Oct 5 2010 2:24PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    Our Adoption Journey (Part 15)

    We arrived back at the hospital and ready to spend the night there. The nurses got us set up in a room with two beds and wheeled in our daughter’s crib so she could be with us. We were told that she was “all ours” for the next 14 hours or so and that in the morning we could take her home. They gave us a quick reminder on how to change the diapers and what the feeding schedule should be, gave us a dubious look, and closed the door quietly behind them. Now it was just us and a newborn baby.

    At this stage in her life, our 5-pound daughter basically just slept all day and night. So we spent the first few hours cooing over her, taking tons of pictures, and basically hanging out waiting for her to wake up. Like clockwork she woke up just in time for the first feeding. It took us so long to get the formula to the right temperature, get the nipple attached to the bottle, and get her situated “just so” to feed her! I look back and am amazed that she e...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Alec MacKenzie on Sep 28 2010 5:58PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    My Kids Are Not Cool

    I don't have hip kids.  They don't wear designer clothes or shoes.  They don't style their hair, not even a ponytail or headband.  They can't do any cool hip-hop moves.  And I'm okay with that because they are five and three years-old. 

    Someday, they will whine to me about how the clothes I'm picking out make them look like a loser, or how they can't be seen going to school in mom's lame mom-mobile (which will be whatever car I happen to be driving).  As much as possible, I'd like to delay their awareness of this quality of being "cool".

    I noticed how incredibly unhip my kids are when my cousin came to visit with her 11 month-old son.  He was wearing Tommy Hilfiger clothes and Air Jordans.  He can't even walk yet, but his parents spent more on his shoes than my husband did on his last pair of athletic shoes. 

    An unseasonably cold weekend hit during their summer visit to California, and my cousin asked to borrow ...

    More >>

    Posted by Ms. Eileen Hung-Kwong Tse on Sep 27 2010 12:13AM | 1 comments

  • Average rating:
    Our Adoption Journey (Part 14)

    Even though it was kind of a bummer that we had to wait two-and-a-half weeks to bring our daughter home, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. Since the news that we were “overnight dads” surprised us, we hadn’t gotten anything ready at our house to actually take care of an infant – no bassinette, no diapers, no bottles, no blankets – nothing.

    So in the weeks before she came home, we had the opportunity between visits to the hospital to hit up Target and Babies ‘R’ Us to stock up on the essentials. We joined the legions of confounded and befuddled-looking first-time parents roaming the aisles and asking questions like, “Do we really need a baby wipe warmer?” (The answer for us was no…), or “Should we go with the Diaper Genie or the Diaper Champ?” (Genie all the way for us…) Overnight we turned into parents just as neurotic and wanting to “do the right thing” for our baby as muc...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Alec MacKenzie on Sep 13 2010 6:38PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    Our Adoption Journey (Part 13)

    And so we dove head first into parenthood. One day we were two guys getting ready for the holidays, and the next we were the fathers of this teensy four pound-four-ounce preemie that could fit in the palm of our hands. As exciting as it was to be “overnight dads”, the reality quickly dawned on me that I had never taken care of an infant before. Sure, I’d seen family members do it, but I’d never really gotten my hands dirty (so to speak). I’d just held younger relatives, made goo-goo faces at them, and then given them back.

    For the first two and a half weeks of our daughter’s life, she was in the NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit). Although she checked out as 100% healthy and had breathed every breath on her own since birth, she still hadn’t figured out how to suck on a bottle yet and she was still too small to be legally transported in the back of a car (They have to be five pounds. Who knew?)

    So for two-and-a-half weeks...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Alec MacKenzie on Sep 2 2010 4:11PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    Stay-At-Home Moms vs. Working Moms Round 1: Full-Day Kindergarten

    With Kindergarten just around the corner, a friend of mine posted on her FB page that the private school where her children are enrolled are offering a full-day kindergarten class for the first time this year, and she was wondering if she should switch her daughter to the full-day class.  I was surprised by the amount of dialog her post generated, and even more so at the opinions of many of the mothers who replied.

    It boiled down to essentially working moms being heartily in favor of the full-day option and stay-at-home moms condemning a full-day class.  For the working moms, they said they felt better knowing their child was in a learning environment the whole day, as opposed to spending half the day in daycare.  And it would definitely be easier for them from a scheduling standpoint.  The stay-at-home moms expressed concern that the kids would be thrust into the “9-to-5 rat race” too early and that there is more benefit from spending qual...

    More >>

    Posted by Ms. Eileen Hung-Kwong Tse on Aug 15 2010 12:36AM | 2 comments

  • Average rating:
    Some things never change...

    like finding out who your roommate is before you arrive at Stanford! 

    It's true, after all these years and Norm Robinson, Dean of Housing emeritus, entering freshmen still don't get to know. It's exactly the same as it was back in the 70's and maybe even earlier than that?! I think NR was the "founder" of not knowing. Anyone know?

    I've just gotten off the phone with a young man from Maine, heading out to CA. He got his housing assignment, Stern, Twain, but he's bummed that they won't tell him his roommate. Having gone through this with my own son (soon to be a junior) and my own experience, I tried to reassure him that it'd all be OK.

    What do you think?  Most kids who are headed off to college are told who their roommates are, well before arrival. My other kids found out with their various schools.

    The pros: You get to connect, either via Facebook or the phone. You can make some decisions before you get there: color schemes (Yes, mostly a...

    More >>

    Posted by Mrs. Beppie Weintz Cerf on Aug 13 2010 2:41PM | 0 comments

  • Average rating:
    Our Adoption Journey (Part 12)

    (NOTE: I’ve been out of town for a couple of weeks on some much-needed family R&R. I’m back now and ready to keep blogging. Thanks for sticking around!)

    My partner and I stood there stunned at the news. The birthmother had chosen us! We put our arms around each other as we stared down at our new little girl. My whole memory of that time is one big swirl of emotion, but mostly I just remember feeling more happiness than I had in a long while, with a healthy dose of, “Oh my god…What have we gotten ourselves into?” for good measure.

    After we got over the initial shock of the news, we walked back to the birthmother’s room to thank her for the amazing gift she had decided to give us. To our surprise, she had left. After she had signed her papers giving the hospital the right to care for the baby, she had quietly checked herself out of the hospital and gone. Again, this was something we had not anticipated. Our agency had spun us...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Alec MacKenzie on Aug 9 2010 9:51AM | 2 comments

  • Average rating:
    Our Adoption Journey (Part 11)

    (NOTE: There are several parts of our adoption journey that we choose to keep private. When our daughter is old enough, we will tell her the full story and then she can decide what she feels like sharing with others. What you’re reading here is most of the story, with some parts cut out. Sorry if it’s frustrating that I don’t share every single detail here, but I know you will all understand and respect the privacy we feel we’d like to keep in place for our daughter’s birthmother and for our daughter. Thanks for understanding!)

    Bright and early Saturday morning we got into the car and began the drive to the hospital. Neither one of us had slept much the night before, but we definitely had a feeling of excitement building as we got closer. On our way, we stopped at a store to try to find a gift to bring to the birthmother. We were kind of at a loss as to what we should bring. What do you give a complete stranger who is considering giving you h...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Alec MacKenzie on Jul 21 2010 9:16AM | 2 comments

  • Average rating:
    Our Adoption Journey (Part 10)

    A very small voice came over the phone. “Are you the guys who are looking to adopt a baby?”

    “Yes we are!”

    I tried to make my voice have the appropriate mix of a jubilant, “I am SO excited right now I’m about to burst!” and a serious, “I am aware that you just gave birth and are trying to decide between us and another couple right now.” Jubilant was winning so far.

    She and I began a very stilted, awkward conversation. I had no idea what to ask her without seeming like I was being too personal. Do I ask this woman how the birth went? Do I ask her if she smoked or took drugs? Do I ask her about the birthfather? I decided to let her steer the conversation, and she ended up making it all about how perfect and beautiful this baby girl was.

    She also told me that our adoption agency had given her our “Dear Birthmother” booklet and that she hadn’t really read much of it but had seen we ...

    More >>

    Posted by Mr. Alec MacKenzie on Jul 14 2010 8:59AM | 1 comments

  • Showing 21 - 40 of 95