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!