Wednesday, June 30, 2010

stop the crying!

Reasons my two year old has cried today:

1. Made her go back to bed when she woke up at 5:30am.
2. Made her take off her Dora jammies.
3. A fly was in her playroom.
4. Wanted to play in the jumperoo.
5. Didn't want to sit in her chair for lunch.
6. Polly snapped at her (this made me cry too and Polly is spending the rest of the day locked in our bedroom! Polly hasn't snapped at Sam since right when Sam started crawling and would pull Polly's tail...not sure what happened today but I heard the growl and then the scream. Polly didn't get Sam but it scared her really bad and scares me too. )
7. Nap time.
8. Pooped.
9. Back to nap time.

All this and it is only 1:00. The weirdest part is even with all this crying I would still say that it has been a pretty good day. We played a lot this morning, went for a LONG run, story time at the library, a painting project, outside playing time and a good lunch. I just don't know what is causing this sudden onslaught of constant crying. Everything seems to be the biggest ordeal lately.

Monday, June 28, 2010

my new project

I am still missing work so badly! I "taught" a pond birthday party on Sunday and the kids/families were great. They really got into (literally! several of the kids actually went swimming in the pond!) the activities, loved looking at the critters that we caught and even listened when I was talking to them about some of the natural history of the insects. This is only the second event I have been able to work this month and the first one ended up being canceled. I want to be working more than this.

I have had this feeling for a while, talked to lots of people about it but it wasn't until I had some serious conversations with my sister that I got some answers and made some decisions. She came up with the idea for me to start a new blog! A blog all about my passion, about environmental education and about my girls. Much brainstorming, researching, planning, designing and writing later she helped me to develop "Greening Sam and Avery". I am making a commitment to do one "green" activity with the girls everyday and then blogging about it. I will document through words and pictures the successes and failures of what we do. I have been doing a ton of research into early environmental education but have realized that there is just not much out there for parents, especially for parents with kids as young as mine.

So I am developing my own resource. I am taking activities, games, crafts, etc. that I find, adapting them to be simpler and age appropriate and then trying them with Sam and Avery. Hopefully I will be able to do all the leg work for other parents and be able to provide a resource for great ways to teach your kids to love nature, to get outside and to not be afraid of all the amazing creatures that are out there.

I am officially starting this project on Thursday but I wanted to give all of my faithful readers a sneak peak at all the stuff I have up on the blog already. It's not much yet but please head over there and take a look. Check out the amazing banner that my sister designed, look at the pages I have created so far and if you happen to find a spelling or grammar error (I am only human!) please let me know. Leave a comment (or two!) over there to let me know what you think!

Okay, GO check it out! Greening Sam and Avery!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

jumperoo for all!

What do you do with a two year old that misbehaves?

Just kidding! The jealous older sister needed to take a turn.
It didn't last long but was very cute.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

an awesome GREEN toy!

Parents start your Christmas shopping EARLY! Check out these amazing toys. Kid powered toys (meaning they have sounds, light up, etc. BUT use NO BATTERIES!) are such an awesome concept. And I am in love with the story builder toys.

Oh and did I mention that they are some of the most GREEN toys I have ever seen!!! SO COOL!

Seriously, go check it out!

Edited 6-24 - the link does not seem to be working so the website is or just google sprig toys!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm Back!

Four days away and by the end I was ready to come home. I was up north squatting at our friends house (THANK YOU BRANDON AND TRACI!) while I worked at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association Energy Fair. I organize and run the children's workshops at the fair. I bring in all kinds of different presentations ranging from musical performances, arts/crafts projects, building solar cars, and building wind turbines. There are really some amazing kids programs that come and the crowds of kids can get pretty large. The Fair was amazing!! I love working it; being surrounded by like minded people, the networking, the great "green" products and all the awesome food!

But by the end of an exhausting day of set up and three days of fair I was more than excited to get home to my girls and Chris.

And boy did they change in four days!

Sam now knows her whole name and it is adorable to hear her say "Samamfa Jane Ennnlend". She also knows Avery's whole name but she gets confused still on mine and Chris's. I had started to work with her on knowing her name and how to respond to someone when they ask her what her name is. She is also so much farther along on the potty training! She is telling me when she needs to go, making it to the toilet and hasn't had an accident since we got home! We haven't figured out naps and nighttime yet but just not being in diapers and not having accidents during the day I think is great!!

Avery seems to have grown leaps and bounds! She is suddenly reaching for me when she wants to be picked up. Not with both arms yet but several times she has reached out with one arm and whined at me, and once to Chris too. Her eating has changed as well. Now she is opening her mouth when she sees the spoon, making it so much easier and faster to feed her. But the biggest news is that today she SCOOTED! There was a toy that she wanted that was right in front of her but out of her reach and she started lifting up her bottom, pushing down with her legs and eventually did this movement enough times that she was able to get the toy!! I could not believe what I was seeing. I am SO NOT ready for her to mobile yet! I know I still have a long way to go before she is crawling but this mile stone was a big deal for us today. Exciting and terrifying!

It is amazing what four days can do!

In more recent news....our air conditioner broke today. It is going to be a hot night tonight and I am just hoping that the girls don't wake up too much from being sweaty. AND

CHRIS PASSED EXAM NUMBER SEVEN!!!!! More on what this means for him and us later but I just couldn't wait to share the news! Send him some comment LOVE people!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tis the Season...


We picked...Sam ate...then got a tummy ache! So then she picked...

Avery watched!

then Sam helped do the mashing
and the stirring
we froze some whole
but all the rest we made into JAM! If you were wondering what you would be getting for can stop wondering now! We have jam for the whole family!

Friday, June 11, 2010

June 11, 2005


A lot has changed in five years...
more school, different jobs, two different houses, an apartment, lots of trips, TWO KIDS, weddings, lots of laughs, challenges, good times and bad.

But there is also a lot that has not changed...
Chris has been my best friend since my sophomore year of college. He inspires me, challenges me, makes me laugh, comforts me when I cry, is silly with me, debates with me and lives life with me. Back in college we had crazy wild times and calm relaxing times. Though our crazy wild times are a little less often now we certainly still know how to have fun! (and we have the relaxing part down to an art! HA!)

We loved each other so much five years ago and that love has only continued to grow stronger.

FIVE YEARS! I cannot believe how much has changed in our lives in five years because it feels like I was walking down the isle surrounded by all of my friends and family just yesterday.

Thank you to all the friends and family that celebrated with us back then, have helped us with our struggles and celebrated our victories with us along the way.

Thank you to my husband for continuing to be my best friend!

I LOVE YOU! Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Morning bliss

So every morning this week my girls have slept in! No kidding I am able to wake up on my own, put my robe on, read a little and then listen for when my girls wake up. Now don't get too excited, its not like they are sleeping until 10:00am but several times this week it was past 8:00am!
But it has been so nice and it is totally crazy how much I am enjoying my mornings. The fact that I don't have to wake up to someone yelling "mommy I'm awake!", "mommy I am POOPY!" or just crying in general is an amazing thing. I can watch the first little bit of the Today show if I want to, I can watch Mike and Mike in the morning (a secret pleasure of mine!) if I want to and I don't have to watch Special Agent Oso anymore! YEAH! Do you know that show? (yes we watch a few shows in the morning; don't judge!) We found it on accident one morning and Sam loved it. I cannot stand one minute of it but like the lack of commercials on the disney channel so I would let her watch it. Either way, missing that show because she sleeps past it is a wonderful thing.
I am praying that my morning bliss continues, although now that I have blogged about it I am sure that is will be no longer. I wish I were like my dad and didn't believe that you could jinx things, but I do.

On another note....I am in love with this picture! Long story as to what she is doing but she stayed this way at the window for almost a half an hour! She loves those binoculars and I am in love with her very grown up way of standing in this picture. Her little diaperless bottom is just adorable to me (no she is not potty trained, we are having accidents all the time but I am just going with it and trying my best to be supportive and figure it out as we go!).
And this is what a five month old eating beets looks like! I was completely shocked but she LOVED the beets AND they don't STAIN! Thank goodness...THEY DO NOT STAIN! Chris thinks she looks like she a rabid animal when she is eating them...okay yes it does kind of look a bit like blood but whatever, she loves it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

pictures coming at ya!

Not in chronological order at all because I just don't have the energy tonight to mess with all the cutting and pasting!

This past weekend my cousin Chris got married and Sam was the flower girl. She and Avery were both sick but we wanted to be there for our family so we did the three hour drive south of St. Louis and made it to the church just a little bit early for Sam to get ready and practice a few times.
Sam and the other flower girl!

Sam failed to drop a single petal as she made her way down the isle but before the wedding and after she was very into throwing them and then picking them all up again.
Sam getting distracted by someone talking to her (no she didn't know the person!), which meant that both flower girls had to stop! As I am looking at the picture I am realizing that telling them to hold hands probably made it pretty difficult for them to also throw their petals!! HA
SHHH Avery! We are in church!

We couldn't stay for the reception because we had the girls with us so it was a very quick, whirlwind trip. But we were glad we could be there to see Chris and Megan get married!

Sam and Chris at the winery in Madison enjoying a picnic out on the patio.

Grandma and Pawpaw with the girls before the drinking began!

Sam quickly became BFFs with the girl that was passing out the wine!

The girls at the Madison farmer's market.

Enjoying some good market music!

Okay, this was such a random post of pictures but I have realized that there are a ton of pictures floating around that I haven't blogged so this was the first of what will hopefully be several catch up picture posts!