Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Black and white and grays of Halloween....

I'm a naturally see things in black and white.  Things go in this box or the other, it is right or wrong.  But there have been many grays revealed to me over the years and yet another one again.
So, confession, I've been against Halloween for some time.  It started in 4th grade.  I listened to this program on the radio and heard about the origins of the holiday and wanted nothing to do with it.  So as a shy child I managed to let my teacher know and during the class party I went office to the library.  I can still remember how all the lights were off and the librarian was dressed like a witch.  Not the popular way to spend a holiday, but it was important to me to stand up for what I believed in.

Don't get me wrong, I love costumes and seeing kids dressed up. I even dressed up in costume myself every weekend while in college for two years (insert random fact about me: I was a kid party entertainer.  Yes, a clown but, also, a princess - I like to focus on the princess part!).  Then there is the fact that I have also been learning more about the toxicity of sugar.  I know, I know, booo on wanting to hear about that but I can't ignore the facts and feel okay about giving such to the daughter I love so much.  So trick-o-treating.....didn't see a plus there.

Then I came home on Halloween and thought about how my littles don't get to get out of the house that much any more, as we are blessed to have our babysitter come to our home during the week (VERY BLESSED).  I wanted Zo to be able to get out, so to some random church carnival we went, adorned with her dress-up princess outfit. 
She loved it, not the huge crowds, not the little kid games (when they asked if she wanted to play them she would reply "nope!") but just being out and about was fun and getting handed candy (which she really didn't know much about).  On the way home I allowed her to have a jellybean (I know, I know, I'm crazy - but yet just one bean - which she was very happy about).  "I love special beans!"
Then we pasted by our neighbors, some with their lights on, and I realized that in a way it was as if they were asking for us to come meet them, so we did.  I think some were a little taken a back when we just didn't get our candy and go, and always the whole family seemed to come to the door, to want to get a glimpse of the cute kids that were with us.  It was awesome, I was hooked!  I could care less about the candy (although the foreign gentleman that just got home and dumped two huge candy bars and eight speciality chocolates into my daughter's bag was kind of a special treat for momma) but people wanting, waiting and enjoying a brief visit, all of whom we have never met in the couple years that we have been living here, awesome!  What a "special treat" as Zoe would say.  I must say that I liked seeing the grays of the holiday and plan on doing it again next year!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

GG trip to G-ville

Went to a quick shot to Greenville where I got to hear the CEO of DoTERRA speak....makes me love the company even more!  Such integrity and awesome products. 
We stayed with Beach's grandma and she kept some awesome toys around from when Beach was a boy.
I love that Zoe gets to spend some time with her great grandmother, what a treasure.  Just wished she lived closer!
Side note...had to drop my mom off at the airport the following morning and was desperate to get a coffee (grandma only drinks decaf)...also discovered that I'm allergic to the dust in her house = me pretty miserable but not wanting to say anything to hurt her feelings.  Also, she has the best food and usually stocks up from the Fresh Market before we get there!
We went shopping downtown where Zoe showed off all her dance moves in this store. 
Seriously....this kid broke it down for over 15 minutes and loved watching herself do so. 
I love how Beach loves his grandma.  Always hugging her and holding her hand when they walk...he is truly a special guy. 
Grandma got we took this picture while we rested on a bench. 
Beach was excited about it!
Downtown Greenville has some fun sites!
This is what it usually looks like to try to get Zoe to take a posed picture now.  She is usually off dancing doing her own thing (or mooning the camera). 
But yet if bribing is involved....we can usually get a goofy grin out of her. 
Sweet time, with a sweet lady!

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Happy Mommy?"

So, yes, I'm a therapist by trade for the past eight plus years.  And, yes, I talk a lot about how people feel about things.  
So perhaps it shouldn't surprise me how much my babe is so attuned to feelings.  For moths now she has been fixated about how characters feel in books, asking me over and over if they are happy and not to pleased when the answer is no.  I cannot even read anything on a page before this is thoroughly discussed several times.  

Lately this has been turned up a notch.  She is obsessed about my feelings.  Some days I feel that she asks me over 50 times, "You happy mommy?" If I make a frustration noise or face or she knows she is not listening, the question is sure to come.  

I do know that this was heightened during our potty training phase (thank goodness that is done with). At one point she was holding it and there was nothing I could seem to do to encourage her to go (part of that strong willed control issue).  She was no longer going in her pull-up and I thought I would just let her go potty when she felt that she needed to (which was hardly ever).  But then she started to complain that it was hurting when she did use the potty.  Oh no, I just couldn't be allowing her to do things that would lead to an infection or something else unpleasant.   

So it lead to a potty stand off, or sit off if you will.  Minutes and minutes went by and I was trying to pull out everything in my bag of tricks to help encourage her to go, when she knew that if she did it would hurt.  Nothing worked.  What was I to do, threaten her to go in time-out or something....this was not the way I wanted to potty train her!  Then her big crocodile tears began to fall and she was so sad and scared of the pain.  This mamma's heart couldn't take it and my tears flowed as well, just not knowing what to do and holding her little hands for support.  And that was what it took.  She became very concerned about me, asking me about my feelings and slowly bit by bit was able to make her little tinkles through her pain.  It is pretty amazing that when you seem to focus on other's pain, yours isn't as important.
I do love her tender heart.  I see many other two and half year olds that have no idea others really even exist.  I pray, though, that this people pleasing little lady can hold on to the truth and the things that are really important, not allowing her desire for others happiness to sway her from such, all the while ministering to others right where they are!  My sweet Zoe, I am so much happier having you in my life!    

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Food Swap Baby!

I love this new (to me) idea.
Many ladies (and a couple men) getting together to swap out homemade items at the Midlands Food Swap.
Through this journey of learning more about REAL food, I'm also learning more about how hard it can be to make such fresh ingredients from scratch.  That's why this is ingenious, as I can trade in so many other's hard work for such. 
It is set up auction style, where you can write down what your interested in.  (Along with eating some great treats.)  Then when all is done you scramble to trade your goodies.  Yes, my mind was swimming the first time and I was glad I just had one item to think about.    
I made some awesome natural DoTerra lavender bath salts. We were able to bring non-food items the first time, which was a big relief for this non-cooker.  Much less intimidating for me, as I got to see what others brought and got some ideas for the future.  
So, of course, the next time we incorporated some Loveland Coffee!  Combined it into making some Double Shoot Chocolate Espresso Cookies and made some coffee concentrate.  Beach got to come as well and share his expertise on the subject and enlighten others to such joys.  Had many, many compliments, makes a girl feel good.  Oh, did I mention that we have started to sell the concentrate in larger quantities....working on the fancy packaging now.  It is amazing!  I have some everyday!
So I think Beach started something with his fancy table decorations, so last time they had a table decorating contest.  This amazing women (Amiee) won.  I mean she is just loaded with cuteness and is always busy in the kitchen cooking up greatness.  A Martha Stewart in her own right (and I love to trade her fresh eggs from her chickens).
Some of the spoils that we came home with a couple of different times. Homemade peanut butter, duck eggs, mixes, fresh veggies, croissants, jams, shower scrubs, strawberry plants, natural cleaner, pumpkin bread, pumpkin creamer.... amongst many other things!
Nothing beats the goodies for days to come when you can have homemade banana pancakes, with banana/vanilla syrup, fresh eggs and monkey butter!
This stromboli was awesome!  A repeater for sure!
Ok, so who is in next time?  We meet monthly for the fun and would love to try what you come up with!

Monday, October 1, 2012

September Shenanigans

Here are some of the randoms from the month (at least those that I remember to capture on film). 
Let the eating that the wee one is six months trying to be more diligent about feeding her....didn't got over so well at first.

Yahhhh for birthdays and awesome husbands.  This was Beach's amazing gift he made for me.  He went to the historical home we had our wedding reception at, captured these cool pictures and framed them.  He really is so inspirational and creative!  I am trying not to remember how when Zoe saw it hanging the next day, touched it and if fell down broken. (Still hoping it is fixable.)
My thoughtful mother surprised me at work with lunch, a cup cake, balloon and this sweet face for my birthday.  What a joy!  Then, when I got home, these huge babies arrived for me from my in-laws....yummy!
Weather is getting a bit cooler, so we tried out the double stroller that one of my co-workers blessed us with.  Confession: Shiloh is often not dressed at home.  It's pretty warm in our house and babies seem to drool, spit up and blow out way more than it's worth for the effort of contestant we just left the house as we were....and hoped the neighbors didn't judge us to much.  (Zoe, on the other hand, insists on always having clothes on - I do, too, for the record.)
Yep, that is my kid with the monster to her cuz (yep the one who is a month older).
Beach had fun with Istagram on this one...
At the food swap this month, Beach sent me a picture telling me the girls were ready for me to come home...I can't get over how big they look!  Zoe is often giving her sister choke holds big hugs.
Shiloh greatly enjoyed my birthday balloon.  She would play with it for quite some time for days!  Best.Gift.Ever!
Took the girls to their first parade.  Who doesn't like to spot a giant blown up okra!  The girls had many fond greeters and momma quickly hid all the candy that was given out.
Shiloh was a big fan of the parade and can't wait until next year! Obviously!
Mom and I took the girls and cusin to the zoo one day while aunt Danielle had to work and our sitter was out of town.  Midday meant sleepy littles...
They were thrilled to be there.
Zo had to wear a hat since Grammy had one.
Zoe now hates pictures (insert fustrated sad mom face here).  I like to call this one Toddler with Tude. 
Stocked up again at Tot Trade!  How I love the deals (60% off days - there before it opens) but dislike the long lines and how it seems to suck energy out of you.
Fussy days call for extra baby wearing to keep mom and all sane.
One day Zoe was being supportive of tummy time and lined all her babies and animals to participate as well.  I greatly enjoy how the girls are beginning to interact a lot more!
Zoe insists on picking out her own clothes.  Some of her current favs:
Poppy sure is fun... 
and knows how to make a girl smile!
This lady greatly adores her granddaughters!
I have a love/hate relationship with bed time.  It seems to drag on forever to get everything done.  And Shiloh often doesn't fall asleep until 11:20....not so fun for work nights.  However, all the snuggling and love make up for it!
And yes, Shiloh STILL has to be swaddled to get to sleep.
AND Shi can't seem to go to sleep without me around.  This is the position she ended up in one night.  My little mermaid.
I love these eye lashes!
One of my favorite new Zoe phrases: "Remember Dat?"  She will come up with things that happened days and even months ago, asking if I remember it.  This kid is sharp and has an amazing memory!  This includes when we went to the hospital for Shiloh's birth....yes dear, I remember dat.