Monday, January 28, 2013

hendrix the artist

hendrix has enjoyed creating artwork from a very young age. 

i think we may have introduced him to crayons earlier than most, and since then he has become fascinated with markers, paint, chalk, playdough, and his most recent obsession - elmer's glue.  

he fondly refers to these things as his 'projects' and he would work on them all day everyday if we would let him!  lol  

i love the look he gets when he is concentrating very hard on making it look just perfect.  he totally takes after his daddy on this one!

he has a very artistic eye when it comes to playdough, and his favorite part is mixing every single color together.  

it does look pretty cool as a rainbow of colors, that is of course, until it gets so mixed that it turns into a blobbish shade of blue-green.  

our little lefty is getting more experienced everyday at coloring inside the lines on pictures.  he seems especially interested in coloring toes, beaks and eyes.  he has also taken an interest in discussing what color things are 'supposed' to be....

while i definitely want him to explore and think outside the box, i also like that he is trying to rationalize and understand the 'norms' around him.  

when we drove by a white barn the other day, he told me that it wasn't a barn.  
barns are red.  
interesting the things that kids pick up....

my fridge is covered with pompoms and feathers.  

aren't you jealous?

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Does anyone else think this is a dirty word?  Does anyone else think this is most definitely the hardest part of parenting? (so far, anyways)  Does anyone else get embarrased and feel like they are the only spastic mom dealing with an ornery child? 

I think it would be really encouraging to be reminded that i am not alone.

This week we had a rough time at caffeine 'n chaos, a really fun open gym time with lots of other moms and kiddos (actually we may have had some rough moments at the library, at work with the kids i nanny for, and at a playdate as well......if i'm being completely honest with you)...

We did a book study on "love and logic magic for early childhood" with our small group this past fall, and it really has been a fantastic tool in helping my husband and I work through consistency, appropriate expectations and consequences in disciplining Hendrix.  

There is a particular phrase that is repeated often in the book that goes something like......"a love and logic parent is happy when their child misbehaves because it provides a valuable learning moment when the child is young and the consequences for his decisions are small, to teach him to make good choices when he is older and the consequences are much bigger".  

I think the whole "happy" part might be taking it a step too far......but I do think this notion is valid, and worth reminding myself of when I feel like I am correcting the exact same misbehavior time and time again.

The real bottom line of our study was this:

consequences should be immediate
they should fit the offense
they should be delivered with empathy
and should allow your child to solve his/her own problems

While we haven't dealt with many temper tantrums since we started this form of discipline, I still have to correct Hendrix for not listening. often. very often.  Why does a non-listening child embarrass me so much?  I know that I shouldn't take his disobedience personally.  I know that I shouldn't even be thinking about what the people around me are wondering.  But when I am the one that is juggling an infant in one arm, and a screaming toddler in the other arm, I do.  

His offense this week has been pushing and shoving other kids.  I am not really sure where this is coming from, and I was particularly sensitive to this "meanness" after watching a news clip this week about a little 8 year from my hometown being bullied at school.  I don't want my kid to be a bully. period. 

After two chances (which was probably one too many), we left the gym.  I am trying very hard to follow through, and ensure that my firm and gently delivered consequence is the discipline; not my screaming, not warning repeatedly, not my frustration, not embarrassment or anger.  Whew, this is tough, and I need to keep practicing, that is for sure.  

The consequence went something like this:  "hendrix, how sad that you are not being a good friend, we have to leave now", as i frazzledly juggle two diaper bags, two children, and three winter coats with hats and mittens.  (I am so thankful that a friend walked in at that moment and helped with an extra pair of hands while we loaded up).  Then he cried in a buckled carseat for 20 minutes while I fed Blaire in the van in the parking lot because she was starving (in 10 degree winter weather, mind you) and I didn't want her to be the one who suffered because of his choice.  He begged to go play in the gym some more, he told me he was hungry, that he was tired, and that he missed his daddy. He was pitiful.  

Then on the way home he fell asleep and I began to feel guilty that perhaps I was too hard on him because obviously he was tired.....I started to question whether I had handled him/the situation appropriately, and I began to doubt myself...

This discipline thing is tough.
Real tough.

I do NOT have it figured out, though I desperately am trying to do the right thing.  I want to teach my son what is right and what is wrong, and that he is the only one that can decide which he will chose.   I want him to be a sweet little boy that cares about others.  And I really would like to keep my sanity intact at the same time.  

Is that too much to ask for?!?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

wordless wednesday {sweet baby cousins}

i was able to spend the day with my neice last week, and it was so awesome to get our little girlies together for a playdate ;)

my daughter blaire, three months

my niece annalise, ten weeks

sweet baby girls!

linking up with:

Friday, January 18, 2013

christmas crafting

i love making homemade gifts. 

though the holidays are a very busy time of year, i always enjoy the excuse to try out some of the creative ideas i browse on pinterest.

we especially have a tradition about ornaments.  
every year we create something special to give to family and close friends.  
this was a tradition that was started with my family when i was a child, and i enjoyed it so much that we have decided to continue it with our children. 

these button wreathes were our 2012 ornament.
you can check out our rustic tree ornaments from 2011 
or our handprint snowmen from 2010 if you are looking for some ideas of your own!

this was a particularly fun project for my two year old to help with.  he enjoyed stringing the buttons onto the wire, and also sorting the colors, or even just moving them from one container to another.  i did find buttons all over the dining room for weeks however......

for the complete tutorial, you can visit martha stewart's link.  

i understand that this would have been more fun to read last month, when you were planning for the holidays, but honestly, i gave these to people who read my blog and i didn't want to ruin the surprise!  ;)

i also crafted these christmas trees, and though they were inspired by pinterest, i actually combined a couple of different projects into one.

mod podge is my favorite crafting tool.  
and, yeap, i got it everywhere doing this project.  

i loved the rustic feel of how these burlap trees turned out so much that i made an extra one to keep for myself.

should i actually be admitting that?!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

my previous life

In a former life, I may have made fun of people who still had their Christmas lights up in late January.  Not only are ours still hanging on the house, I haven't even gone to the effort of turning the timer off, so they still flip on every night.  I somehow justify my laziness with the excuse that hendrix loves them.....and really they are so pretty!

I also may have been a tad bit hard on people who seem to never get anywhere on time.  I used to be the kind of person that would arrive 10 minutes early to any and every event, thus it is interesting that I seem to struggle with getting places promptly these days.....unless I budget an extra 25 minutes of 'just in case' time, I usually am delayed by a diaper change, a toddler tantrum, a lost shoe, or a starving infant.  I generally console myself with the notion that 'at least we made it!'

And since I am confessing, I should probably admit that I also previously cast judgment on people who go places and completely forget about their babies.....well, that was before I left mine sitting in her carrier in the parking lot at school after loading up the boys.  That terrifying and humbling ordeal has really challenged me to have a little more compassion, to never judge or even pretend to know what another person's shoes are really like, and to go out of my way to reach out and encourage other moms because, quite frankly, sometimes we use up all the energy we have on the little people in our lives.

I used to pride myself on being organized and put together - and now I feel like the only one who consistently gets and stays put together is my three-month old; and that is only because for now she is too young to strip off parts of her outfit and lose them or to have opinions about crazy clothing combinations (yes, hendrix wore bright blue sneakers with his brown cordouroy pants this afternoon......).

So today, i will embrace my fat lip (thanks for snuggling with me this morning hendrix), my blistered tongue (because my tired bones were so eager to slurp my hot coffee) and my slightly greasy messy ponytail (regular showers? I wish!) and take a moment to be thankful for the 'anaconda squeeze' hugs and chubby cheeked baby giggles that were also not a part of my former life.  They make me proud, and thankful.  I wouldn't trade this life for that one in a million years!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

our sick christmas

christmas of 2012 will forever be remembered by me as the christmas that daddy was sick.  

hendrix had an ear infection that was discovered on christmas eve (thank goodness the clinic was open and we were able to squeeze him in to get antibiotics before the holiday) but he bounced back pretty quickly after his first dose of meds.

daddy, on the other hand had a cold, then the flu, (he was up most of the night with a fever and chills on christmas eve), then a sinus infection, with a double ear infection grand finale.  he was out of commission for an entire week, during which mommy had this very important role of santa to play on her own.  it really was a super bummer to see your hubby laying on the couch in misery, while trying to excitedly open presents with your two kiddos on christmas morning.

enough complaining though.

our. holidays. were. awesome.

we got to celebrate multiple times with many family members, spread out evenly enough to let us savor each event.

our kids were showered with awesome presents and amazing memories.

i love christmas!

we started out at grandma's house.  after yummy breakfast treats, hendrix got the first taste of christmas presents, and he was so distracted with them that he wouldn't even hold his sister for a photo......

blaire was a doll just watching the lights, and ribbons with fascination.

hendrix, was of course, most excited about his new markers.....
coloring. is. his. thing. 

our second christmas celebration was when grandpa came to visit us for christmas eve.  hendrix enjoyed playing with some of his new toys with him, and grandpa just ate up the time to hold his baby granddaughter!

hendrix helped to open daddy's presents since he wasn't up to it.

watching hendrix have a little "jam session" with grandpa on the guitar was probably a highlight of my holiday season.  he was so delighted to be a part of the music, and grandpa was so patient with his energetic strumming.  so sweet!

hendrix came downstairs on christmas morning to find a new play kitchen from santa with all the fixin's......he was thrilled!  he probably played, making us a pretend breakfast, for a good 45 minutes before we even got to opening any of the wrapped presents!  

santa was very happy with her choice on gifts this year, and is looking forward to many years of play cooking from both hendrix and then eventually blaire ;)

after a few hours of lounging around home, we packed up and headed to nana and papa's house for the day.  

my kids get more attention than many dream of at nana and papa's house and it is always so fun to see my siblings, my sisters-in-law, and now my new baby niece!

hendrix was a hoot with all the presents, and he has taken over a few toys that were meant to be for blaire.  oh well, she doesn't mind too much yet!

he was especially thrilled with his new reindeer ornament, and has been really sad about putting away the ornaments and taking down the tree for the year.  he pitifully begged to leave it up saying, "mommy, i like ornaments, and my tree, cuz, mommy, i love christmas!".  i know kiddo, but it will roll around again, and quite frankly, much sooner than one would think!  lol

my grandparents came for part of the afternoon, and it was really fun to watch my brothers give my grandpa a homemade knife gift that was so personal and special it invoked tears.  precious moments like that are not soon forgotten.  i love gifts from the heart!

it was so fun to snuggle my niece, annalise; and her mommy and i got to spend a significant part of the day hanging out in the rockers nursing our wee little babes ;)

our holidays were full of yummy treats, family memories and more gifts than we even knew what to do with!  

happy 2012 to all, and here's to a fresh whole new year!