Saturday, July 31, 2010

patience or control?

At two and a half years old my daughter and I have a lot of issues.

Let me start by saying that I believe I truly have a wonderful daughter. She is overall polite, creative, smart and energetic. She is sweet and loving to her sister and Polly.

BUT she is also headstrong, stubborn and very independent. She moves at her own pace.

Right now I am struggling with how to deal with her independence at two and a half years old. She wants to do everything herself. And for a long time I have allowed her some flexibility to do things for herself. I probably gave her too much freedom too young. This is coming back to bite me in the ass. She takes FOREVER to do certain thing that she insists on doing herself and won't I don't let her do it herself a tantrum is sure to happen.

For example, she wants to climb out of the car herself. No big deal right? She is a big girl and should be able to jump down out of the car herself. However, when I let her do it herself to prevent the crying she inevitably climbs into the middle, down underneath Avery's seat or all the way up to the front. This is followed by several commands, counting, yelling and threats of spankings to get her to come out of the door.

SO in that situation should I have more patience or more control? Should I have the patience to just let her explore and know that eventually she will come out of the car like she is suppose to? What's the big deal anyway, it takes all of about 1 minute for her to do it herself? Or should I have more control and get her out of the car myself and then punish her when she reacts poorly to not getting her way?

We have a similar situation to her wanting to put on her own shoes, putting her underwear/clothes back on after going potty, drinking out of a big girl cup, and many others. I think that some of these are skills that she should be working on and be learning how to do on her own. But how do I know when I need more patience and when I need more control?

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Project Mom Casting

Okay blogging world I have a favor to ask!

PLEASE if you have a facebook account go NOW to Project Mom Casting on Facebook and leave a comment about how my sister should be considered for this project. I think her life would make an AWESOME tv show. What could be better then a mom that totally keeps it real, has real life struggles and real kids that other moms can learn from. She would be so refreshingly honest I just know it would be amazing. And it would be SO fun to have a reality show on tv about someone that I know!!!!

Okay, go now and leave some comment LOVE for Jodified and FreshArt Photography!


I didn't think I would miss it

It wasn't something that I really ever loved doing. I thought I was ready to be done. But now, just a few days after loosing that connection, I am missing it.
Avery is weaned. She is a bottle drinking baby. I needed to make sure she was use to the bottle before our trip in August when she will be staying with my parents for a week. And I thought I would be excited to have my body back, to be done with leaking, soreness and watching what I consume. But there is a small part of it that I am missing.
Avery is not a cuddly baby. She can't be rocked to sleep, she doesn't fall asleep in my arms and she never lays her head on my shoulder. While drinking a bottle she is squirmy and easily distracted. But when we were feeding, skin to skin, just her and me she was calm and she was just mine. That time was more precious than I think I realized.
I forgot how much I hate washing bottles, filling bottles, finding bottles sitting around the house and packing bottles to go places.
A phase has ended and I wasn't prepared for just how sad I would be that it is over.
Avery will be crawling very soon. She is probably my last baby and she is growing up just too darn fast!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

recipe requests

Laundry soap recipe -
There are tons out there and I just started this so I don't know for sure if this is the best one yet but this is the recipe that I am trying first.

1 bar ivory soap (grated up as finely as you can)
1/2 cup borax (found this is my laundry isle)
1/2 cup washing soda (also found this in the laundry isle)

Mix the three ingredients and store in an air tight container. Use just 1-2 Tablespoons per load.

I got this recipe from here and they have other options too if you don't like this one.

Homemade soft pretzel recipe -
I found this in a magazine (don't remember now which one) and thought it looked like so much fun. It was kind of fun to make them and Sam had a great time putting on the toppings but they actually weren't as good to eat as I thought they would be. It all has to do with how good of bread dough you can find (or make if you are really energetic!); we only had one kind of frozen bread dough at our Piggly Wiggly so I had to go with that one.

all purpose flour
1 lb frozen whole-wheat bread dough, thawed
1 egg
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup cinnamon and sugar
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1. Place bread dough on floured counter top or cutting board and ask your child to roll in into a rectangle. You want it to be about 12" by 10" (we did not get anywhere near this shape; our bead dough did not really stretch out or roll out at all!). Slice the dough lengthwise into 12 strips with a pizza cutter (because ours wouldn't roll out we only made 10).
2. Help your child make each dough strip into a loop (same shape as the little ribbon pins, cancer ribbon type shape). Flip back the ends of the loop, crossing them to create the twist (hard to explain but just imagine a pretzel shape and then experiment with how to make it!). Transfer to a lined cookie sheet; cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
3. Heat over to 400. Whisk egg and 1 Tbs water. Have your child brush pretzels with egg mixture and top with seeds, sugar or cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until brown. Cool on wire rack.
We did not really like the parmesan one and instead of sesame seeds we tried sea salt and then a really cheesy one (grated mozzerella!) which was our favorite.

We have also been making our own play dough around here so I thought I would share that recipe as well.

Play dough Recipe -
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 T. cooking oil
1 T. cream of tartar
1 cup water

Mix ingredients into a pot. Stir them up well before you turn on the heat. Heat over medium heat stirring constantly until it forms into a ball. Try to make sure it is pretty evenly "dry" and then turn it out on the counter. Knead until it is consistently smooth.
I added vanilla extract (just about a teaspoon) to mine to make it smell good. You can add other spices or food coloring too. I got this recipe from "My Montessori Journey".

Happy Cleaning/Cooking/Playing!

Our recent days

Sam's first burrito.

Homemade soft pretzels.

From a distance the steam tractors were cool but when they got close and blew their horns the noise sent Sam and Avery into full blown panic! I was too busy comforting so there are no pictures of the tears!

Picture does not do this tractor justice; it was HUGE!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Changes at the Enlund Household

My new project has been going great. It is giving me an outlet for my environmental education passion, giving Sam, Avery and I some great things to do during the days and I am learning a ton of new tricks that I am sure I can use someday once I get back into my field full time. I am also connecting with a lot of new moms, educators and other people interested in green living. This last one though has presented me with a whole new challenge.
I consider myself to be a pretty knowledgeable person when it comes to the environment, environmental issues, sustainability and the green movement. I have also worked hard throughout my life to spread that education, help environmental education and participate in the push to educate the next generation. What I haven't been doing so good at is practicing what I preach!
As I have been connecting with all these new bloggers out there writing about their green living adventures, their journeys in striving to get back to nature and their simple lives I have realized just how LARGE my carbon footprint really is. But becoming a responsible environmental citizen is such a daunting task; where do I begin? And it isn't cheap either! It is just not in our budget right now to add solar panels or get more energy efficient appliances or buy a hybrid for our next car. But I knew I needed to start doing something, start being the example for my girls and start making this more of a priority in my life.
Then I found this blog called One Small Change. They present their readers with the challenge of making one small change every month to lower their carbon footprint, to be kinder to the earth and to live more green. Wow! A new thing every month? My goodness. These were my initial reactions. But then I started reading about some of the changes that the people participating in this challenge were making. Things like making their own laundry soap, making their own shampoo, not using paper towels or paper napkins, growing their own food, buying second hand, etc. When I saw some of these ideas I got really excited and thought WE CAN DO THIS!
So, we are going to try. This matters a lot to me. I want to set the right example for my girls. I want to teach them habits now about living in a sustainable way so that when they are older those things will just come naturally to them and they will take them with them to the home that they create later in life.
Our first change is going to be a pretty tough one. We are attempting to make the switch to cloth diapers! Chris is not so thrilled about this one (I mean really who wants to have to wash out poop!). But I want to try. I hate the thought of all those diapers going to a landfill and if we can get on a system of cloth diapers and do it for long enough in the end we will actually save ourselves money too.
I was also so excited about the homemade laundry soap that I went ahead and made that too! It is working out great. It was easy to make, cleans the clothes just fine, has a nice faint smell and is SUPER cheap.
I know in the grand scheme of things these changes don't make that big of a difference to the environment but if each one of you out there ALSO did they changes that would make a HUGE difference. And maybe if I can save enough money by washing out my daughters poop, washing my clothes in soap I have grated up myself and some other ideas THEN we can afford to put solar panels on our roof and really lower our carbon footprint!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I miss my friends!

I got a wonderful email the other day from my college friend Ellie and tonight came a reply email from my other friend Tracy. These two women and I have been through a lot and even though we don't see each other all that often they are very important to me. I don't know why but as I was reading the email I suddenly started crying. I miss my college friends.

One of my best friends from Stevens Point had a birthday today (it was a BIG one! Happy Birthday Traci, don't worry I won't tell how old you are!) and I wasn't there to celebrate it with her. I texted, I called but it isn't the same. I want to be there to give her a hug and have a drink with her. I miss my Stevens Point friends.

I think that could be one of the hardest things about the move we have made to Madison; once again having to start all over when in comes to having friends. We know very few people here. And the saddest part is that I have no idea any more how to make friends. I have gotten up the courage to ask one mom at the library programs to have a play date, we went to the park and it was fun but then I lost her number and she has never called me. I stalk those library programs now just trying to run into her again, I haven't. But even if I did how do you go from a play date during the day to a dinner out or a party with the husbands?

I hope every day that an adult will speak to me; a random hello as we go for a walk, the cashier at a store asking me a question, a mom at the library saying something (ANYTHING!) to me. But most days I talk to a two year old, a six month old and Chris in person. Yes I talk on the phone, I email, I facebook and blog but those are NOT the same.
I want girlfriends in town that I can go shopping with, that I can have come over to ask their opinion about an outfit, paint color or room arrangement, that I can meet for lunch/dinner. I want couple friends that we can get together with on a random week night for dinner or have over for a game night on the weekend. I want friends that we can make big plans with like superbowl parties and birthday parties. But how do you find those friends when I just can't give up an evening of help to let Chris go play in league events where he might meet people. Moms don't seem over eager to make new friends at any of the kids things I have gone to and we aren't in town enough to really seem to be noticed at church?
I know in the grand scheme of things this is a little problem but there is a big part of me that needs to be social, needs to talk about things like politics, sports and current events (to someone other than a person that I know so well I could have the conversation going both ways!), and NEEDS to get out of the house every once in a while for a drink with other adults!

I miss having friends.

I miss MY friends!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

precious moments

Went to church this morning and the sermon really struck a cord. The gospel was the story of the good Samaritan and the children's sermon was all about stopping to notice the little things. The priest actually brought in a bug box, magnifying glass and binoculars. She talked about how we should take notice of every moment and find God's work in everything around us. She told a story about a Lutheran priest in the Madison area that had recently died and the work he had been doing throughout his life, simple but powerful work. Nothing fancy or over the top about the story or his life but the way she told it, the picture she painted of him surrounded by his family when he passed and the legacy of giving that he left behind put me in tears.

So as we were going about the rest of our day I tried to keep the story of the good Samaritan and her sermon in the back of my head. It made some of what happened today even more special.

A foggy picture, but she is sitting up and playing on her own!

A great visit from the Great Grandparents.
They actually sat and read Sam her two favorite books right now.

And then our first family movie night tonight. Sam was both captivated by Mary Poppins and at times a bit bored. But when she was loving it her face, her singing and her dancing were adorable. My favorite was when she wrapped herself up in her blanket and cuddled with her daddy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An Avery Update!

She is six months old!
Did you realize that cause it has come fast and passed me quickly. We had her six month appointment so number coming at ya...
Height -27 inches
Weight -18lbs 8oz
Head circumference -45.7 cm
This third one is where we had some issues. She is in the 91% for the first two and off the charts for her head size. I give birth to BIG headed babies. Sam is off the charts too and always had been. But in Avery's case she has started out fairly normal and seems to be growing faster in the head than the rest of her body. Apparently she had an abnormal amount of growth from our last visit to this one so they need us to come back in one month (instead of the standard three) to have her head measured again! Seriously. I don't remember the term for what they said she could have if her head continues to show large growth but it wasn't good. They aren't worried though because she doesn't have ANY of the other serious symptoms so they told me there wasn't really cause for concern at this point, they just want to be sure. Actually, they think it was human error on her previous visit that must have measured her head too small so it just made it seem like it had grown a TON this time. Who knows.
I know she is fine and healthy I am more just annoyed that I have to go back to the doctor in a month just so they can measure her head! But better to be safe than sorry I guess.

In other news...I think we are days (maybe a week) away from her being mobile! Check this out.

Up on her knees and hands already. So not ready but I think in the next week or so we are going to have to figure out how to get baby gates up in this house! Avery's world is about the get bigger and Sam's world is about to get a whole lot more complicated!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Fifth of July!

So no fireworks last night...cranky kids that wouldn't nap needed to go to bed early and not be pushed until firework time. But we were all dressed up with no place to go so we took photos anyway!

And then we did a few sparklers and those pop things. Sam LOVED the little poppers but was not such a fan of the sparklers.

Hope you all had a great Fourth of July!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

a great wedding not captured so great in pictures!

Last night Chris and I went to the wedding of one of Chris's fellow college golfers. It is always great to see this crowd of Knox friends and even more fun when we get to be kid free! Thank you Nana and Grandpa for a much needed night off. I was too busy drinking and dancing to pay much attention to the camera so that pictures that I got are VERY limited and not very good but I will post them anyway!

Does anyone recognize the dress that I am wearing? Some of you should because it is my bridesmaid dress from Jodie's wedding! That's right, when we said "These are totally dresses we could wear again" we were right, and I did! I cut the black ribbon and bow off, added a belt (thank you Hannah for the suggestions!) and presto an updated little black dress! So fun to get to wear it again.

Clearly I was not the only one drinking! HA!

It was a great night with friends and Chris and I actually slept in this morning which rocked!
Okay, back to Fourth of July fun (or listening to non-napping screaming children!).
Happy Fourth of July.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

mini milestone

I had Avery on the floor this morning and she was just laying on her side playing. Pacifier in her mouth. Then she reach up with her hand and pulled the pacifier out. She has been able to do this for a while now; a frustrating occurrence when she doesn't really want it out.

side note - when Sam got to this point of being able to take the pacifier out she suddenly lost all interest in it and became more interested in the giant bears blanket that is now referred to as "blankie"!

As I sat there watching Avery she started playing with the pacifier. Holding it in her hand she was intensely watching her hand as she moved the pacifier around. Then the most amazing thing happened. Her little hand, with eyes glued to the action, moved that pacifier right back into her mouth! What was the smallest thing but the determination, intensity and concentration that I could see in her face as she did it made that little movement a BIG deal!

I was very proud of my little girl. As we sit here playing she has now done the same thing several times, getting faster and more "oh this is nothing" with each practice. The pacifier may be upside down but she is thrilled to have it back in her mouth.

The pacifier may stick around a little longer for Avery than it did for Sam...we will see.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Blog is LAUNCHED!

The first project is up over at Greening Sam and Avery! Go check it out and let me know what you think.