Monday, December 20, 2010

Sam's Christmas Program

I told Sam's preschool teacher last week that we would be out of town for the Christmas program and that Sam would have to miss it. The look of disappointment that suddenly erupted on her face made me feel really guilty. She then looked at me and said, "then we will move the Christmas program to Monday instead of Wednesday. We don't have a program if Sam is not in it. She kind of carries the show." She is my daughter and us Kuhn girls (just ask my mom and sister!) really do know how to sing but what I witnessed today was AWESOME!

This isn't the whole program just my favorite video that I got.

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She is my daughter after all!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa rocks!

My daughter gets it. I didn't think she would. I didn't think Santa would be a big deal this year but he is and she gets it. They made paper stockings at school and unprovoked my daughter covered her stocking in pictures of doll houses! NOT something that I had bought her for this year.
Oh well, no big deal. She will love what I got her and won't remember about that stocking.

Then we went to see Santa today and when he asked her what she wanted for Christmas she said, "A big house for my dolls." Are you kidding me? I can't seriously not bring her what she asks Santa for the first year she gets it! I can't fail her on the first year that she gets it.

So Santa will be changing his plans. All the gifts that are bought and ALREADY WRAPPED will be unwrapped and stored away for her birthday (only one is actually returnable; downside to buying so much handmade items!). We have ordered her the dollhouse. Santa won't have coordinating paper because the doll house is being shipped directly to Grandma's house (where we will be to get Santa's gifts) and I am not re-wrapping all of Avery's gifts just so they match the dollhouse. Hopefully she doesn't "get it" that much that she questions Santa's wrapping paper!

Anyone else having Santa drama this year?

GOOD GRIEF!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Avery Walking Video Overload!

Ok, so we haven't really gotten good video of it yet, but we thought we would post some of the attempted videos where she is taking some steps. These were taken yesterday, and we had to coax her to walk from one of us to the other. Already today she is attempting to walk away from something she is holding on to and just walking on her own. Enjoy the videos, and a word of warning...Avery has a pretty loud screech on the last one so watch your ears.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

we may never leave

My children don't like their coats. It takes us almost a half hour to get out the door when it is in the teens outside. The shoes/boots, coats, hats, gloves and sometimes even snow pants! They are all too much. Neither kid really fits in their car seats comfortably, forget about the stroller or backpack and there is no way I can hold Avery with all that on and get anything else done. Just a dropped baby waiting to happen! So for the most part when it drops below 20 we stay home. Like today. Besides preschool drop off and pick up we are staying home! And I am okay with that. We have been busy crafting, learning, working on Christmas projects and baking cookies. Today we took a stab at homemade meatballs with no recipe! We will see what Chris and the girls think tonight. I figured since I don't eat them what do I care what is in them...little bit of this, little bit of that! HA! Chris might think differently.
And just a few updates for all of you...
Sam is finally getting the hang of preschool (I know its only been three months right!). She knows how/when to help clean up, knows to keep her mittens on when she is outside and knows where she can and cannot go (took her a bit to realize she can go to the potty when she needs to!). She is enjoying herself and starting to really learn some things.
Avery is still my little sneaky baby. She let's me know whenever I have forgotten to put up the gate by getting up the stairs as fast as she can! She is walking behind toys now very smoothly and can crawl almost as fast as Sam can walk. She is waving, high fiving and clapping. Both girls are enjoying the Christmas tree and the Christmas cookies! Chris and I are trying to be good and not pack on too many pounds, but its the Holiday season and I think it is an unwritten rule that you must gain weight!

The girls watching the birds (or lack thereof right now! but they will find the feeders soon I am sure!)

And if you need some long underwear for your kiddos check out my giveaway on Greening!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Avery's birth story

Most of you have heard Avery's birth story before but if not I would LOVE for you to head over to Unexpectant and take a look. They asked me to share her story and it is up today!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

just watching


The snow has come and Sam got to be the lucky one to head out and help with the shoveling. Not Avery. She sat inside with me. But she did find a spot where she could watch them working on the deck. It was adorable how long she sat there captivated by what they were doing and then by the snow that continued to fall.
Happy Sunday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December

In an effort to take the stress off I have decided to let this blog be more about just celebrating the simple moments of this Holiday season and not stress about posting long in-depth writing. So I hope you will stick with me and share in our moments of December, but if not I hope you will come back in January when I hope to be back here more consistently!

Our moments from today! Happy December 1st. The Christmas music is playing constantly in our house and if you follow me on Twitter (or are friends with my mom, because I am asking her a specific one each day too!) you can try your best to answer my Christmas music trivia question!
I'm standing on a ladder by the way!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

GIVEAWAY!

Hosting a giveaway for a great Etsy toy maker over on the Greening blog. I would love to have some entries from family and friends that I know read this blog. So even if you don't have toddler hop on over and leave a comment, there must be SOMEONE that you could give it to for Christmas!! HA!

Go HERE NOW!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Avery is growing up

Over ten months now. And things are changing quickly.

She has (almost) six teeth now. Two are still working their way out right now which is causing a lot of stress in this house but I am hoping they will break through before Thanksgiving.

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We have clapping.

But even cuter than that we have dancing! No video of this yet, she is apparently a bit camera shy when it comes to showing off her moves! But anytime that one of the girls toys plays a song she starts to move the top half of her body and shake her little arms. ADORABLE!

And the biggest change is that we have standing and her first step! She isn't really standing for very long yet and we are still a ways from walking but while we were practicing her standing yesterday she picked up one foot, moved it forward and planted it back down all without falling! Chris and I both looked at each other and immediately said "That counts!". Her first step.

She is still my little cuddler , giving me hugs whenever I get her out of bed, and loves to be held. She is becoming very attached to a little white sheep and one of those bunnies with the small blanket attached. And she would keep that pacifier in her mouth all day if I would let her. But I can tell that she is becoming a little kid and less of a baby. She wants to do whatever Sam is doing and is already such a little instigator when it comes to picking on her sister. I just know I am going to have years of breaking up wars between the two of them. They will be the siblings that my sister and I were and that I am NOT looking forward to.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

lose our evening or lose my day?

Sam has given up nap. For months now I have fought with her everyday to even get her to stay in her room and take a rest. Most of the time there are several scoldings and escorting back to her bed to even get an hour of peace (not that you can really call that peace). But she goes to bed by 6:30pm and with maybe one repeat visit to the bathroom immediately after being put to bed we don't hear anything from her for most of the night. We get to have good quality adult time, watch our TV or play games. We get a good chance to reconnect every evening.

Then we stayed out last night late. The girls were not in bed till after 8:00pm. And yes, Avery was a disaster and very tired. But Sam did great and she was fine today. I could tell she was tired though and I tried harder than usual to get her to stay in her bed and sleep. AND SHE FELL A SLEEP! For the first time in months Sam took a nap. For over an hour I did not hear a peep! (what did I do with all that glorious peace and quiet? made her a princess wand for Christmas, you can find it here.)

When I told Chris my fortune his immediate response was; so does this mean we have lost our peaceful nights? And I had no idea how to answer that. What matters more to me, my time with him at night or the chance that I get a good break in the middle of the day? Ahhh!

What would you do?

**Lots of stuff to tell you about Avery so be on the look out for an Avery update post! I just have to get some good pictures!**

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Five Days with No Daddy

How did I do it? Here are the things that have saved me.

1. Let the house go. Normally I do one piece of "deep" cleaning every day. I vacuum, dust, clean a bathroom, mop or some other kind of real cleaning every day so that I never have to take a whole day to get it all done. I haven't done any of this since he left!

2. Wine and ice cream. So I may have put on a few pounds but I get my two favorite things to help me relax and settle down in the evening.

3. Movies. I actually haven't relied too heavily on TV for Sam, which is awesome in my mind. But I have given up fighting the big fight each day over nap time and instead am letting Sam hang out on the couch and watch a movie. I don't get a kid-free break but I can sit and work on the computer uninterrupted or be running around the house doing things without worrying about the kids. Avery still takes a good afternoon nap so we do movie time while she is sleeping.

4. Ready to go proteins! I had Chris grill five chicken breasts for me before he left. I have been adding chicken to almost every meal. This is a great way to cut down on dinner cooking time and make sure the kids get protein in every meal. We have had two different kinds of pasta, quesdillas, a rice meal and pizza all with pre-grilled chicken! I may have Chris do this more often!

5. My mom and sister. If I didn't have their frequent phone calls I would have very little adult conversation most days. They have kept me sane and confident that I could handle this.

6. Good weather! If we had been having typical November weather in Wisconsin we may not have been able to spend hours each day outside. Being stuck in the house would have made the days feel much longer. Outside time is a must for us and very valuable for me keeping my sanity!

So, Chris is coming home to a dirty house, a tired-no-napping Sam, a fat and hung over wife and a refrigerator empty of all the chicken that he cooked. But the kids are happy and I am still alive. He should be thrilled!

Daddy's Birthday!






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Monday, November 8, 2010

its not about her

It's about me.

Whether we make it through the day with one time out or twenty, is about me. No spankings or ten, is about me. Whether we get through the day with smiles or tears, is about me. Sam's bad days are pretty much the same as her good days.

I have a stubborn child. I have a smart child that knows how to test me, knows how to push my limits and absolutely knows when she is doing something wrong. But she feeds off of my energy.

I recently read a post from a very smart momma about having a month of yes and I thought that it seemed like an impossible task. How would I survive even one hour of saying nothing but yes and doing everything she asked me to do? This thought made me realize just how negative I have been with her lately. I am always yelling, always correcting and always criticizing her. No wonder she rebels against me, I must be awful to live with. I also realized that because of all the negativity and frustration that I have I rarely ever hug my daughter, we don't laugh that much, we never have tickle fights anymore or cuddle.

This is not good.

But again, it has more to do with me, than it does with her. I need to remember that she is only two. I need to separate her actions from who she is. I need to remember that I love her unconditionally. I need to be her example of patience, compassion and understanding.

I always thought I needed her to fear me in order to get her to do what I wanted her to do. But it isn't working. She doesn't fear me no matter how much I try. All I am accomplishing is getting really frustrated and driving a wedge between her and me. So, I am trying a different tactic with my daughter. I am just going to try and love her. Try and get her to want to do the right thing. I am picking my battles. I am biting my tongue when before I would have been correcting. I am being patient when we have the time. I am letting her be the unique and independent two year old that she is. I am not just letting her do whatever she wants but the way that I talk to her, correct her and handle discipline needed to change and that is what I am trying to change.

I still tell her not to stand up on the couch 16 times a day but I try to say it each time in a calm and controlled manner, rather than losing my cool and screaming at her for simply not remembering that it is not okay to stand up on the couch. Or getting so excited about a book or TV show that she can't help but stand up.

I am trying to smile, laugh and have fun with my daughter more. It has been one day and it was a good day. We will see how tomorrow goes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

random thoughts on a Thursday

I am purging. The girl's playroom is overloaded with toys that never get taken off the shelves and I am tired of it. I know that some of them are not being played with because Sam has out grown them and Avery is too young but I just can't look at them anymore. The amount of colorful plastic, things that make noise and light up are for some reason irritating me. I bought a ton of those kind of toys when Sam was little because I thought it was what she was suppose to have, what she needed. And they would work for a while but they never held her attention for long. I know that will be the same for Avery. It will probably be worse. She already doesn't care AT ALL about those toys, all she wants is to play with whatever Sam is playing with. Why would I think this would change? SO, I am packing them away. Not getting rid of them just yet, but packing them away.

But all of this is making me struggle with what to do about Christmas. What do I get them? What toys do I want them to have? I know Sam plays with all of about four things right now on a daily basis; her simplified marble works set, her kitchen, her musical instruments and her doctor kit. She loves books and puzzles. But how much more of those things does she need? Do I just keep getting her more books, more puzzles and a better marble works set? And what about Avery? What do I get for the second kid that could just play with all the things her older sister does? What new thing is there for her? We want to have pretty simple, small Christmases but I still want them to feel like normal kids and have Santa come through big!

Chris is leaving for FIVE DAYS for a business trip to D.C. He gets to stay in an amazing hotel, eat great food, be around people in his field (he's an actuary so I don't exactly know if that's a good thing, but I guess they are all similar so...) and get a break from his family. It all sounds fabulous to me! But I will be here. Here with the girls. With only one break to go "teach" a birthday party on day two. No adults to talk to, no help when I have reached my toddler limit. I am not trying to make him feel guilty or make my mom feel like she needs to drop everything and come up here. But I am really worried about doing this on my own. LOTS of moms do this everyday with no help. Why does it seem SO daunting for me? I have even done this before, for four months, everyday by myself during the week. But there was only one. And she took naps.

I need to take down the Halloween decorations and put up the Thanksgiving decorations. But really what I want to do is put up a Christmas tree! Even with my dread of what to buy the girls I am so excited for all the decorations, the cookies, the songs, the movies and the feeling that the holiday season gives me.

I totally thought this was going to be one of those posts filled with short, one sentence, random thoughts. Clearly that is not the case. My thoughts were longer than I had expected so I think I will end with just four!

Hope you have a great night!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Okay, blogger is being really annoying tonight and messing up my post over and over again. SO this is going to be totally out of order but I am just too tired to keep fighting with it.

We had a great time tonight with Halloween.

This is the girls after they had done their trick or treating. Sam was obsessed with handing out the candy to the other kids. She may have enjoyed this more than getting candy herself!





But they both did great with the trick or treating. Avery rode in the wagon, threw her adorable pumpkin hat out of the wagon at some point so we lost it. This is quite a bummer cause that costume was so cute. Oh well. But Sam did a great job of saying "trick or treat" and "thank you" at every door. We practiced and reminded her between houses but she rung the bell and did everything else all on her own. Such a big girl.



We started the evening with the neighborhood Halloween parade. We saw a sign for it a few days ago and thought, why not. Now this is not a parade with floats that you watch. This is parade that the kids (and their parents) walk in so that other people (I think there were six!) can sit and watch us walk by! So funny. But they had a cop car and a fire truck that lead the parade! First picture is just to show how many people were in the parade!
Here we are in the parade. Avery did not like the scary masks that we had so I bought Chris a Homer Simpson mask that I thought would work but nope. She cried when he put that one on too. Don't think Chris was too upset that he didn't have to wear a costume.



It was a great halloween. We went through eight bags of candy in under an hour! Our neighborhood clearly has a LOT of kids. We had to blow out our candles and turn out the lights early because we ran out. Too funny.

Hope you had a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

picture updates

I know I haven't been around lately. I am struggling with time management right now in juggling the two blogs but I am also struggling with stuff to write about over here. Okay, thats not entirely true. There is a lot I would like to complain about, vent about and get advice about but finding the time to focus on this blog is hard right now because I am trying so hard to grow Greening right now.

So anyway, today was not the day to squeeze in a major post over here because I am trying to get ready for the statewide environmental education conference at which I am presenting about Greening Sam and Avery! Super excited to share with my peers what I have been up to and what I hope it will become but I am also very nervous about how it will be received.

Pictures will have to do for now!












Be back soon I promise.

Monday, October 11, 2010

She has personality.

She screams when Sam takes a toy away from her.

She wants to eat only the food that we are eating and has almost entirely given up baby food even though she has only four teeth.

She has no fear of climbing up the stairs and tries daily (yes we know we need to get a gate).

She has a big head and knows how to avoid hitting it when reaching for a toy under any table.

She eats cheerios and other small food items by curling her pointer finger around them, not picking them up with her finger and thumb.

She screams when she wants to go down the one stair in our family room but is too scared to try it herself.

She loves crawling in the grass.

She crawls from one bedroom to the other as fast as she can trying to entice Sam to chase her. But even if no one chases her she will continue to just crawl as fast as she can all over the upstairs, with no apparent destination or end in mind.

She loves being tickled.

She will play peek-a-boo with anyone that is willing.

She screams when I am trying to feed her something that she doesn't want to eat.

She hates getting dressed and will wiggle, flop, flail and do anything else to make it impossible to get her limbs into her clothes.

She loves the bath.

She screams when she sees a bottle but no one is handing it to her.

She loves the flop.
Please ignore the ridiculous faces that I am making.

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And did I mention that she screams.

She is nine months old, not gaining weight right now according to her most recent doctor's visit, developmentally delayed in her fine motor skills and speech (also according to our most recent doc's visit), full of life and energy and the funniest person in this house most days. The weight thing worries me a little but I know it will pass. The delayed piece did have me very freaked out but I have decided to give her some time to see if she will catch up on her own before I call the specialist that the doc recommended. I believe children develop at their own pace and the fact that she can walk assisted by furniture or us already (which is way earlier than Sam did) makes me think that maybe she is just choosing what she wants to work on right now and speech and picking up cheerios the way the rest of the world does just aren't things she cares about.

She has a personality that is all her own.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

pumpkin patch

Get ready for picture overload!! We had a fabulous time. But I took way too many pictures!

















Someone was ready to go home!