First day of Fall

Happy first day of Fall!

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It’s bittersweet in our house this year. My husband was off work the last 12 weeks for his FMLA time, but now he’s back at work.

To try and have a smooth transition, I made today a celebrating day. We made pumpkin cornbread muffins, took a leaf collecting walk, read stories and played with Legos. There were still tears from my 3 year old after her FaceTime goodnight call with daddy, but she managed all right.

Haven’t written on here since my youngest was 2 months old, well, he’s 7 months now. Time is a crazy thing. I wanted to start back in with something deep and meaningful, but, I don’t think that’s going to happen tonight. I’ll just leave you with some cuteness. Enjoy!

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Cooking with little ones

I love cooking with my daughter. It’s definitely taught me to let go and embrace the mess (recipes don’t have to be exact in this house!).

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The other day I was making biscuits at dinner, and I asked my daughter what shape they should be. “Bah ha ha ha sheep!” She replied. Lol. So we had sheep biscuits:

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One of my favorite cooking tricks with kiddos is using flax seed meal to make an egg replacement. That way they can lick their fingers and taste test without salmonella risk.

Flax egg replacer
1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg
Mix and let sit a bit then add to your recipe whenever you’d normally add eggs.

Works great. I picked up a giant bag of organic flax meal from Costco and it’s lasted a long time so far. Great stuff. We also sprinkle it on oatmeal in the morning.

At this point my daughter loves to be my official taste tester and she helps out in all sorts of ways in the kitchen. She also pretend cooks a lot. I love to hear the different mixes she comes up with. Why yes I’d love an apple, cheese, pickle, chocolate, lettuce, vanilla sandwich…wouldn’t you?

I’m back

Well, I’ve decided to shake the dust off this blog and get writing again.

I probably should start fresh since it’s been so long. My name is Heather

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I’m super lucky to be a stay at home mom to these two:

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I’m a licensed mental health counselor, but I don’t know if I’ll ever go back into that field. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with people, but it doesn’t feel like a good fit for various reasons.

I just turned 30, which feels strange. It’s thrown me into a bit of a reflective/anxious place, but that’s a whole post of its own.

I love being a mom more than anything else I’ve ever done in my life. I never pictured myself as someone who would stay home with kids, and now, here I am, and I feel so fortunate to be able to do this.

My oldest daughter is 3 in May, and my son is 2 months old, so, what I post here may or may not be coherent.

And that’s a snapshot of my world at the moment. More to come…

Well that was a rough few weeks

Finally coming out of the haze. I think the universe thought my last post was funny…or maybe a challenge…because a lot if crying has happened the last few weeks.

Illness swept our house. Kiddo got hand foot mouth, and as I repeatedly told random family members, no, not hoof and mouth.

Anyway, poor bugger got sores in her mouth and was just miserable for a few days. She was also fairly devastated about not being able to eat. She’s really verbal and hearing her say things like, “I’m sad I can’t eat” was pretty heart wrenching. Fortunately, we powered through with Popsicles, ibuprofen, and powdered pb mixed in milk.

Apparently through her few days of illness I wasn’t tending my own cold, which morphed into a sinus infection on one side of my head. I ended up getting one of those nasal rinse kits for some relief, and can I just say, what comes out of one’s face with those is rather disturbing.

Anywho, we survived (though the house is still slow on the recovery), and we managed to have a lovely Thanksgiving.

I (as usual) went overboard on dessert making. I made a gluten, dairy, and soy free pie for my allergic family members (almond meal crust and pumpkin pudding filling):

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And a blueberry and a cherry pie (which were very gluten and dairy filled):

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And a chocolate mousse that my taste tester very much enjoyed;

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We also made a pretend mailbox that kiddo loves to use:

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And of course we continued making various turkeys:

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Now we’ve been embracing the Christmas season (yep, I’m one of those people). The stockings are hung:

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Lights are springing up:

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Christmas music is happening, and even the dog is reluctantly participating:

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Ack! 8 weeks until baby #2 arrives! Craziness.

Here’s to hoping you and yours have a lovely day ❤

Rethinking crying

I know so far I’ve mainly posted about crafts, but recently I’ve been thinking over something else related to parenting: crying.

First off I should say that I aim to practice respectful, compassionate attachment parenting. So this is definitely not a post about crying it out (I’m very much against that practice).

I’m rather talking about how our society deals with tears. We seem so uncomfortable with negative emotions that whenever someone is sad, there’s a rush to end the sadness as quickly as possible (or at least end the parts we see).

I feel like this actually makes sadness last longer and possibly causes it to be stuffed down and internalized. When emotions get stuffed, they tend to come out in other ways (anger, distractibility, digestive issues, etc).

So, what does this have to do with parenting? I feel like the way we respond to our children’s sadness influences how they deal with difficult emotions in the long run.

It’s tricky because it’s always hard to see people you love in pain, but I feel like if we are able to be present and loving, while avoiding stopping the flood, we can teach them that sadness isn’t inherently bad, but rather something we all experience (ever been struggling with something difficult and someone, rather than empathizing, changes the subject, makes it about them, or tries to “cheer you up” when you just need to vent? Not helpful right?).

So how do I put this into practice? Well, with my 2 and a half year old, lately I’ve been shifting my approach. Rather than the shh shh shh as I hug her encouraging her to talk about what’s wrong, I instead still hug her, but sit with the tears for a little. I try to say things like, “you can cry as much as you need,” “I’m here,” and “x is really hard sometimes huh?” With x being any of the myriad things that are hard for 2 year olds. And then, when she’s feeling better, we talk about what made her upset.

And you know what’s funny? She actually seems to cry for shorter amounts of time when upset now.

Every kid is different for sure, but these are just some thoughts I had and wanted to share what’s working for us.

Hugs!

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November!

We had fun in October doing lots of silly fall and Halloween crafts and wrapped it up with some trick or treating. Here’s my pink froggy trying out her costume before the big day:

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She still likes to pretend to trick or treat throughout the house. 🙂

Now that it’s November, thankfulness and turkey themes are beginning to take over our house.

I started a thankful wall (kiddo is decorating the letters, so, at the moment, it’s just a thank wall, and, in this picture it’s just a than wall):

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I try and talk with kiddo a lot about being thankful, and I thought having the word up there and then gradually surrounding it with things we are thankful for could be a good activity for the month.

I liked our monster banner so much that I’ve started a turkey banner to replace it:

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Kiddo helped tape a few tail feathers, but I’m not going to get up to take a picture since she fell asleep on me after a mid nap wake up.

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She also worked on a little turkey today. We traced out her hand (I had her pick the turkey body color plus the feet and beak color), then I cut her out a bunch of feathers to glue on:

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Soon I plan to have a turkey hand family up there 😀

I can’t believe it’s only 12 weeks until my due date, yikes. I think I’m on craft overdrive trying to squish things in before he’s here. Luckily my daughter is adept at helping herself to the art supplies so hopefully it will continue post baby, with some minor ninja like juggling. I just assume he’ll be strapped to me in a carrier for the majority of the first few months.

So, what are your plans for this month? Any exciting adventures or crafts you’d care to share? Any tips on keeping up the artyness after adding number 2?

Felt Board!

I love our felt board 🙂

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In pursuit of fall craftiness, we’ve been adding to it lately:

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There’s your run of the mill tree and pumpkins, and then (by kiddo’s special request) some creatures and attempts at birds:

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The great thing is, all you need is felt and scissors. The felt sticks to itself, so the shapes you cut out can be rearranged easily. We’ve had alphabet letters up for a long while and just add things here and there.

Sometimes I think kiddos favorite activity is tearing it all down 🙂