Monday, September 27, 2010

Thank you Aunt Jojo.

At any given moment in my life there are a dozen reasons that I could (and should!) be sincerely thanking my sister. The list of favors, kindnesses, advice and other things that she does for me is endless.

However, today the above thank you is laced in sarcasm!!

I am so tired of my daughter asking for "a spoon full of peanut butter. like aunt jojo does." at EVERY MEAL! We use to have good sandwiches, salads, quesadillas or other tasty things for lunch and we would eat the SAME THING at lunch. Now, ever since Sam had a spoon full of peanut butter at Aunt Jojo's house it is all she wants (even asks for it at breakfast!). No I am not kidding, it is literally a spoon full of peanut butter with crackers on the side for dipping. But most of the time she skips the dipping of the crackers and just licks the peanut butter right off the spoon.

Of course I don't always give her the thing that I know she will eat quickly, the thing that she will eat without fight or reminders. Nope, sometimes I am a "good" mom and make her eat real protein or veggies or fruit. But then I have to deal with the fight and tears that she doesn't get to eat "like Aunt jojo".

So now my lunch routine has to include "cooking" three meals. Baby food for Avery. A spoon full of peanut butter and some sides to go with it for Sam. And then figure out something for my lunch (I just can't bring myself to eat a spoon full of peanut butter even though my daughter has asked me to try it several times).

So THANK YOU Aunt Jojo. Your spoon full of peanut butter is like crack for my child!

Editted later to add - It has occurred to me that you all might be thinking that this is a regular meal that Sam gets when she is visiting Aunt Jojo! ha. Couldn't be further from the truth. As far as I know Sam has received this lunch ONE TIME when she refused to eat the PB&J sandwiches that her cousins were eating. To end the fussing Aunt Jojo handed Sam the spoon. Sam was thrilled, there was no more whining and everyone was eating. At the time we thought it was perfect. My thought has changed.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

a great weekend

I am tired. It has been a long time since I have done this much yard work in one weekend. I tore out bushes, cut back plants, trimmed bushes, weeded, planted mums and tackled areas of our backyard that have not been touched since we moved in.

But we are now ready for cooler temperatures. Well, not all the way. I still have to do all the "wintering" of the outside stuff. You know clean off all the toys and bring them in. Scrub down the furniture and get it stored away. Pack up hoses. etc.etc. Not excited for those chores but I think I still have at least a few more weeks before we start freezing at night.

We did get a little bit of time today to head to the Wauktoberfest; the Waunakee Traditional German Festival. We quickly learned that yesterday is when all the neat German activities and events were held (keg races, Euchre tournaments, sauerkraut eating contest, frau carry) and today was all about this...
They had six different giant bouncy things and Sam couldn't have been happier. She ran and played until, well I would like to say that she went until she was tired but really she went until we were so bored we couldn't take it anymore! But we visited with some of the other parents, drank some seasonal beverages (yes we were the parents drinking beer in the kids play area!) and ate a hot pretzel (no sauerkraut for us!).

It was a great weekend and a productive one.

Also, I have realized that not everyone that reads this blog might be heading over to the Greening Sam and Avery blog. I forget sometimes to post pictures here because I am posting stuff over there everyday. So if you ever need a photo fix of the girls (Chris and I are rarely in any of the pictures!) just head over there! But here are a few just in case you are aren't in a clicking over kind of mood!

Okay this next one was NOT posted on the greening site. I just found it in a photo folder and thought it was too funny. That is my moms kitchen sink! Sam loves having sink baths in Grandma's giant sink.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

to go or not to go?

First off I wanted to fill you in on how the reading buddy day went. Cade was adorable and cracked himself up with the books he was reading. It was hilarious to hear him laughing (he has the cutest little laugh) and then look over to see him pointing to something to Sam and explaining what he is laughing at. So cute. He read three books which was about about one book too many. Sam got a little restless with his second grade slow reading pace. But overall it was a huge success.

Now on to my dilemma...should I go to my high school ten year reunion. Yes, I am that old which means yes mom you are that old. So should I go?
I have always thought that of course I would go, who wouldn't want to go. But now that I am old, disconnected from anyone that I went to high school with and don't even live in that town my desire to go has drastically lessened. Not only has it lessened, but the idea of going makes me very anxious. They sent out the schedule for the three days of reunion functions and my first thought was "holy crap that is a lot of new, hip, in style clothes I have to go out and buy". Other thoughts that have crossed my mind include, "I have to really start running again", "gotta get some really cute outfits for the girls to wear to the family-friendly functions", "probably need to get some boots and skinny jeans", etc. Skinny jeans? I hate those. Why would going back to high school suddenly make me think I need to go out and buy something I would never wear again?
I hate that feeling that I am getting of "are they talking about me", "do I look okay", "will they like me", "am I cool enough". The schedule has only been out for two days and I already feel like I am going to have a nervous break down. There is only a tiny little part of me that is excited to see the girls that I spent 12 years of my life with everyday. Not that I don't want to see them, of course it would be fun to catch up but most of them are still single, no kids, big nights out, and lots of traveling kind of lives. My life just seems so boring when I look at what they are doing (thank you facebook for making me feel so inferior!).
So why am I so self-concious? Why do I STILL care what all those people at that school think of me? I am an adult now with two girls of my own. What kind of role model am I being by having these kind of shallow thoughts and feelings?
Did anyone else feel this way about their reunion? Did you go or not?

Oh how I wish I could just GROW THE HELL UP and not care.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

reading buddy

In a few minutes Sam will be having her first "reading buddy" get together. You are probably wondering what in the heck that means!

Last week while I was out of town a neighbor approached Chris and asked him about the potential for her second grade son to spend some time with our daughter Sam once a week reading to her. Apparently when her boys were younger they had an older kid in the neighborhood that would come and read to them. She wants her youngest son to have that same kind of out loud reading practice and mentoring time with a younger child. My husband was very intrigued but said he would have to talk to me about it. He told me the idea and about the family.

Sure I said! Someone else that is willing to take over one of probably a dozen times that Sam wants to sit and have me read to her throughout the day. Why not! So yesterday Cade came over and read one book to Sam on our front step with both his mom and me standing right there. This was their way to meet each other and introduce the idea to both of them. Cade was adorable and trying to teach Sam how to use the little clock on the book!! She didn't get it but sat still long enough for him to get through the book.

Today he is coming over by himself with several books for them to sit on the couch and read together. I am hoping that Sam will sit still for him the way she does for me. I am hoping that she doesn't lose interest and get up to go play. I am just hoping that this works because the mom is SO excited about it.

I will let you know how it goes!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


"Sam can we take a first day of school photo?"


Wednesday was the first day of preschool. Sam was beyond excited. The only people she knows that go to school or that she has seen go to school are her cousins, Bailey and Parker, and the few times she has gone to drop them off or pick them up from school she was always wanted to stay.
When she found out that she was going to school all she kept saying was "Just like Bailey does!" or "Just like Parker does!".
She learned her teacher's name, Mrs. Becky, and learned several rules about school. "Listen to Mrs. Becky when it is time to clean up." and "Tell Mrs. Becky when I need to go potty." I figured if she could follow those two things everything else would be okay!
And the drop off on that first day went great. She could have cared less that I was leaving her there by herself. She was just so excited to be around her new friends. I was a bit sad that there wasn't even a moment of separation anxiety. Of course a mom wants to be missed.
When I came back to pick her up there also wasn't that happy reunion that I had expectations of experiencing. I thought she would be talking non-stop about what she did and how the morning went. Instead when I asked her what she did that day two of the first things she said was "Justin pushed over Madison" and "Justin threw rocks. We do not throw rocks." Clearly Justin had made an impression. And I hope poor Madison is okay because Sam was very concerned. But that was it. She had nothing else to tell me. It wasn't until late that night while eating dinner at my parents house in St. Louis that she started singing a new song (or what she could vaguely remember of a new song) over and over again that I finally caught one glimpse of something she had done at school. I was proud of her but at the same time felt so left out that I didn't have a clue what song she was trying to sing and helpless that I could not help her with the words when she stumbled. (is this what it will feel like when she is doing math problems that I don't understand and have no way to help her?)
While she is still finding her words and learning how to recall things I think school is going to be very tough on me. I am going to hate that I will never have a clear picture of what goes on there. That I won't ever really know what she is learning or doing. Maybe this is why parents get so involved and want to volunteer in the classroom. I think we need the break from each other too much for me to do that. Plus the one-on-one time with Avery is greatly needed!
Anyway, I think the day was a success. The teacher didn't say that she was unruly and wouldn't clean up. And she came home wearing the same clothes that I dropped her off in. So at the very least my two rules worked!

"Sam we can't go to school until you smile and take a picture for mommy."


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Autism needs your help

There is an amazing little girl named Ella who has the most caring mother fighting hard for her daughter and lots of other kids with autism.

Ella was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 2, but, Ella just entered kindergarten, and thanks to early intervention is currently testing at an age appropriate developmental level. Ella's mother, Hope, started a foundation called, Ella's Hope. Ella's Hope's goal is to raise money so that other parents can afford early intervention therapies. She didn't just accept the fact that Ella had autism, she did something about it. Now Ella's brother is also being tested for autism. But even with the challenge of having two kids diagnosed with autism Hope is focused on other people's children. The money raised from Ella's Hope will go to scholarships for other kids to get early intervention and to autism research.

I cannot imagine being faced with that situation for my own children and then still have the strength to think about other children. Amazing.

Read the rest of Ella's story and her mom's fight to help other little kids at

So why I am writing about this. Well, my sister Kelsey emailed me today about this story. Kelsey is my little "sister". She grew up in our house because my mom took care of her and her older brother while her parents worked. She has blond hair and blue eyes and people always thought the three of us were all sisters; so we just went with it! We have always been close (she was in both of our weddings) and when a sister asks for your help there is no saying no.

Hope, Ella's Mom, is Kelsey's sorority advisor (another sister!). And all these sisters are trying to spread the word about voting for Ella's Hope. Have you heard of the Pepsi Refresh Project? Ella's Hope is in the running (#13) to win one of the amazing donations. She just needs a little help from all of you.

So, PLEASE head over to Ella's Hope website and vote. Or you can vote by texting 100288 to 73774. Or going to You can vote once a day, every day, for the whole month of september. It's SO easy.

Please help spread the word and VOTE!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

so far this morning

cell phone down. network busy? my way one to communicate with other adults, TAKEN AWAY!

promised pancakes. no pancake mix. tantrum.

slept awful last night and now have serious pains in my neck. bring on the pain meds.

our house smells like pee! can't figure out where it is coming from our who's pee it is (Avery, Sam or the DOG!)

golf men descend on my house in two days and it is a WRECK!

It is going to be a VERY long day.
Happy Wednesday!!

Please leave lots of comments...with no phone I may not speak to another person (adult person) today!