Capital Region

Capital Region moms share funny, precious memories

Happy Mother's Day!
Jessica Ross and her daughter, Savannah, age 4.
Jessica Ross and her daughter, Savannah, age 4.

Besides the Mother’s Day gifts and the heartfelt cards, what makes a mother feel like the sleepless nights and the daily stresses of raising kids is all worth it?

This Gazette reporter reached out to mothers across the Capital Region to hear some of the moments they’ve shared with their young children that they think about when they’re feeling overwhelmed.

Some mothers hold onto the funny moments, others hang on to the sweet things their kids have done for them. 

Mother: Jessica Ross
Child: Savannah Ross (4)

Where: Club Fed Childcare Center, Albany

From the moment she started walking, Savannah’s independent side started showing. It keeps Ross laughing and makes it difficult to discipline.

“She’s very independent, so she never wants anyone to help her with anything. One time I woke up in the middle of the night thinking there was something in the kitchen. It was her, she was about two and a half. She was sitting on the floor, the refrigerator door open, eating the cherries. She sees me and makes a face and then she goes ‘Want some?’” Ross said. 

“The first time I ever had the flu, we were in the house and my energy level was so low. I called her father and said ‘She’s [Savannah’s] going to have to fend for herself tonight if you don’t come home.’ But Savannah said ‘No, Mama, it’s okay!’ She went over and got her Dr. Seuss doctor kit and tried to take care of me. She gave me a shot of medicine (the fake shot of medicine) and she went and microwaved her pizza,” Ross said. 

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Mother: Christine Eramo
Child: Dominic (age 3)

Where: Nonnie’s Nuggets Preschool, Clifton Park 

While Dominic frequently proves that he’s one of the most generous preschoolers, Christine recalled one day in particular that she’ll never forget. 
“For my birthday, he gave me my birthday present before I dropped him off to school. So he was so upset that I didn’t have presents to open when I got home that he started wrapping up all his toys to give to me. One by one he would go into his room, grab a toy, wrap it up and give it to me. He would say ‘I’ve got another surprise for you mommy! Happy birthday! Do you love your birthday?’ It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen,” Eramo said. 

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Mother: Brittany DeMarco
Child: Emma (4)

Nonnie’s Nuggets Preschool, Clifton Park

 Emma has a knack for inadvertently poking fun at people. Especially her father. 

“One time she was asking what color hair everybody had and we told her she had strawberry blonde and that mama had brown. So my husband asked, ‘Emma, what color hair do I have?’ And she goes, ‘You don’t have any hair. You have a head.’ Because he’s bald.  

Another time, she was learning the concept of jokes . . . So she thought that every time she said something it was a joke. She would laugh because she thought it was a joke. Well, she said ‘fat,’ started laughing and turned to her father and said ‘You get it, right Dad? Because you’re fat.’ We both laughed so hard because my husband is not fat at all. He works out all the time and is built,” DeMarco said.

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Mother: Amanda Krufchinski 
Children: Lilly (6) and Blake (7)

Where: Nonnie’s Nuggets Preschool, Clifton Park

Krufchinski has got her hands full with Lilly and Blake, two energetic kids who are not afraid to speak their minds: 
“When I got the kids home last night, Blake noticed a coat hanging on his chair. ‘Whose coat is this?’ he demanded. 

‘Mine,’ said his father. 

‘Then I don’t need to tell you what to do with it,’ was the reply,” Krufchinski said. 

But on the other hand, they’re always very forgiving and never give Amanda a hard time if she makes a mistake.

“Whenever I do something wrong and I apologize to them, they’ll come over to me and try to comfort me. They’ll say ‘It’s okay, Mommy. It’s alright, Mommy,’” Krufchinski said.  

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Mother: Lauren Farrelly 
Children: Victoria (3), Robbie (1)

Where: Pals Early Childhood Care and Learning Center, Clifton Park 

While her youngest is adventurous -a bit too curious for Farrelly’s comfort — her eldest is always in-tune with Farrelly’s emotions. 

“She [Victoria] is really loving. She’ll just look at me and say, ‘You’re the best, mom.’ I suffer from anxiety and depression and if I’m having a bad day she stops what she’s doing, climbs up on my lap, grab my face and give me kisses. She just gets it and she really doesn’t like to see anyone sad. It started when I was pregnant with Robbie. I remember sitting and crying on the couch about something and she was little then, she was like a few months old. She came up to me, kissed me and told me she loved me and then starts making funny faces at me, trying to make me laugh. She’s really good at that. She’s like that with her brother too. When Robbie is crying she’ll be like, ‘Robbie, it’s okay! Sis is here, Sis is here.’ 

That’s my favorite thing about her. Robbie is like that too in some ways.”

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Mother: Anjanette Tucker (Mother)
Children: AAliyah Belton (5), Annie Belton (2), Adalyn Belton (1)

Where: Pals Early Childhood Care and Learning Center, Clifton Park

Raising three children as a single parent makes for a hectic schedule. There are playdates to drive to, dinners to be made, loads of laundry to wash and errands to run. Working a full time job on top of all of that makes the weekends pretty packed. But in the very moments when Tucker is feeling the most stressed, her children find ways to make Tucker feel loved.    

“About two Saturdays ago, I was out and about running errands, taking Aaliyah to karate and I always try to find at least one fun thing to do on the weekends. I’m a single mom and I work Monday through Friday, so the weekends are really my time with the girls. Aaliyah out of the blue said to me ‘Ya know, you’re really good Mom. You always find fun stuff for us to do. I really love you.’ My other daughter, Annie, was in her car seat and chimed in ‘I love you too, Mommy. I had a really good day today.’ It was really nice to feel appreciated and enjoy spending time together.” Tucker said. 

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Mother: Erica Cozzolino
Children: Demarco Cozzolino (20 months), Deangelo Cozzolino (4)

Where: Pals Early Childhood Care and Learning Center, Clifton Park 

While Cozzolino works with children on a daily basis (she runs Pals Early Childhood Care and Learning Center in Clifton Park), her own children keep her just as busy as an entire classroom. 

They’re a mix of adventurous and sweet, which keeps her on her toes.  

“My oldest is an old soul. We watched Finding Dory and we were all sitting on the couch when it ended. Deangelo looks at my husband and he looks at me, puts both his hands on our arms and says ‘I will never lose you guys,’” Cozzolino said. 

“The boys are very much into the outdoors. . . I’m a mother through and through and my anxiety is much higher than my husband’s. So he bought a go-cart maybe last year. Deangelo was about three and Demarco was a little over 1. My husband said ‘Let’s go in the go cart!’ But I was like ‘Oh my god, they don’t have helmets or anything.’ My husband said ‘It’s alright I’ll just putter around with them in it.’ But I told the kids, ‘Mommy is not ready for the go-cart.’ 

Deangelo looks at me and says ‘Mama. I’ll be okay.’ Then Demarco looks at me and sighs and gives me a kiss on the cheek, almost as if he’s trying to tell me the same thing. 

I said ‘You’re killing me . . .’ So we ended up using their bike helmets. My husband had it neutral and was pushing it the whole time. When they were finally on the go cart, Deangelo looked back at me, put his arm around Demarco and said ‘It’s going to be okay.’ 

He’s very comforting,” Cozzolino said. 

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Mother: Kaycee Cole
Children: William (5) and Charles (2)

Where: Club Fed Childcare Center, Albany

Cole has a dynamic duo. William wants to keep everything organized and have his day scheduled, whereas Charles prefers a bit of chaos. She loves watching the two interact, especially when life gets stressful. 

“The other day we were on a walk and William was riding a scooter and we were almost home. William looks up at me and says ‘Mommy, I’m just so tired.’ And I said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re almost home. You’re doing a really good job.’ He goes, ‘ Mommy, you just don’t know what tired is.’ And I looked at him and I said ‘Dear boy, I have known for five years exactly what ‘tired’ is,’” Cole said. 

“William has this thing where he’ll draw me a heart, a flower and a star. Or he’ll go out in the yard and picks me flowers. . . I think that’s what snaps me out of the rigours of life, those moments. And Charles can just smile and it’s the sweetest smile and everything is okay. It’s the ‘I love you mommy’ and the kisses on the cheek. You don’t remember any of the bad stuff. You just remember those things,” Cole said. 

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Mother: Erin Smith
Child: Scarlet (1)

Where: Club Fed Childcare Center, Albany 

Scarlet is just at the point where she’s learning to speak and learning to recognize people in photos. She is energetic and loves talking to everyone she sees. 

“She’s been talking so much more lately. She decided to wake up in the middle of the night recently, which she normally doesn’t do. I would usually let her go, check on her to make sure she’s okay. I usually let her cry it out. But right in the middle of crying and screaming she just says ‘Mama.’ I couldn’t be upset and I just had to go get her at that point,” Smith said. 

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Mother: Linda Judeikis  
Children: Alana (11), Jack (8), Elise (6), Max (4)

Where: Glenville Co-Op Nursery School, Scotia

All of Judeikis’ children have been affectionate in one way or another. But Max, her youngest, always reminds her to hold on to every moment of affection. 

“It’s special to me when . . . I’ll just be driving the car or something and Max will blurt out ‘I love you Mom.’ He just blurts it out random times of the day. I know they’re going to grow up so fast . . . I have four children and we have a disabled uncle at home so it’s a lot. But I just come back to that. Everyone tells you that they grow up so fast and I just try to be aware of that every day,” Judeikis said. 

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Mother: Tara Riha 
Child: Mason (4)

Where: Glenville Co-Op Nursery School, Scotia

Riha’s son is a performer. At two years old all he wanted was a cello to put on a show for his parents.

“He’s very charismatic. He loves to put on a show . . . Wherever he is he wants to perform, even on the beach. The other day though, he looked up at me and said, ‘Don’t worry Mom. I’ll take care of you when you’re older,’” Riha said.  

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Mother: Katie Palumbo
Child: Amaiya McDonald (4)

Where: Glenville Co-Op Nursery School, Scotia

“I love seeing things through the eye of a child again. Christmas time is so much more exciting when you have kids. But pretty recently, she caught me crying in the kitchen. It had been a long day and I’m a single mom. Amaiya said, ‘Mom are you crying?’ Then she hugged my legs and said ‘Mom, don’t be sad!.’ After that I couldn’t be sad,” Palumbo said. 

Gazette photos by Indiana Nash, with exception of Cole and Farrelly photos

Categories: Life and Arts

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