giving her the boot

since my groundhog kind of morning post, we have definitely had so many positive changes in our morning routine. thank you all so much for the comments and suggestions. i appreciate it all so very much.

i just can't even begin to tell you how much better my mornings with hadley have gotten. we are no longer experiencing tantrums and tears daily to get ready for school. that in itself is such a huge deal and just the icing on the cake. hadley has actually been wearing weather-appropriate boots, pants, and a jacket. it is nothing short of a miracle. i actually look forward to getting her dressed in the morning. before, with the exception of bedtime (i'll post on that issue another day), it was the worst part of my day. so glad that is in the past. maybe i am getting ahead of myself. you know how toddlers are a certain way one day and completely the opposite the next. in fact, we know that happens multiple times in the same day most of the time! maybe that will be the case but i am enjoying the ride while it lasts!

so i after that post, i started thinking about hadley and the feel of things for her. maybe it wasn't the shoes themselves that she didn't like, maybe it was the way it was tight around her foot. after all, she never had a problem wearing her crocs, which is quite a loose shoe. it could of been the velcro straps and laces going across the top part of her foot that she didn't like. i really don't know what the reason was for her strong opposition to all the shoes i tried. still don't. i decided to buy her a pair of loose boots, ugg style without the ugg price, from target one day. they are really super cute purple owl boots. maybe that  owl had something to do with it. sure enough, she put them on and wore them every day for a straight week. hallelujah! issue one resolved (for the moment).

i started getting her to agree to socks with leg warmers rather than pants. she agreed. so it was more like baby steps working our way up to getting leggings on her. a few days after sporting some pretty rockin' leg warmers, she agreed to leggings if they were pulled up. i was more than willing to compromise. fine, sure, wear your pants pulled half way up your calf. the majority of your leg is still covered from the cold so i will take it!  now she will still only do leggings with skirts, no jeans or overalls just yet, but i am taking things slowly and crossing my fingers. issue two resolved (for the moment).

and the jacket... it was never as big of an issue as her pants or shoes. this one was really one she decided on her own accord for two reasons. one being she realized that on very cold days without a coat on she was in fact.... COLD. a two year old apparently can grasp that. second, her preschool teachers taught her that amazing flip trick with her coat, allowing her to put her coat on all by herself. and for those of you that know my stubborn girl, you know she wants to do everything herself. so she is game for wearing a coat so long as she puts it on by herself and the sleeves are pushed up. plus, she just looks like a darn cool 2 year old on the playground. issue three resolved (for the moment).

i openly admit that i bribe my children. bribes work. so of course i do what i have to. maybe i won't call it a bribe in this case though. i think i will say reward. sounds sweeter and more positive, right. that is really what it is. hadley loves to be praised and rewarded. so now when she does a super job of getting fully dressed in the morning, including shoes and socks, i reward her with a candy corn or  m&m. it is a beautiful thing how happy she gets when i place that one little candy corn in the tiny palm of her hand. worth every bit of sugar! don't worry, she is a good tooth-brusher.

see for yourself.... fully clothed and no tears
she agreed to leg warmers. super cute on her
such a great sense of style 
(notice how she is wearing her hat!)

she has even moved on to wearing a second pair of boots
 i did try these ones before, during her no-shoe phase, but she quickly rejected them.
guess the owl boots prepared her for these
they are by far the softest boots i have ever touched
not only is the inside super soft and fuzzy, but the entire boot itself is soft, suede,
and very flexible. not a stiff boot whatsoever

and hadley is so good at putting them on all by herself
she loves the sound the zipper makes
(sleeves and leggings pushed up as always)

 so this is one happy post written by one happy mom. it really negatively impacts your entire day when it starts out with a screaming toddler who does not want to get dressed. and now that she is happy and dressed, i am super happy in the moment.

we will just have to wait and see what tomorrow holds.

for fun, enjoy watching hadley proudly put her coat on


memories up in flames

i think i have always known that it is the little things that seem to make such big memories but really remember this philosophy after the moment has come and gone, and i want to cherish it always.

phil and i agree that we prefer fun family experiences and vacations over toys and gifts. but don't get me wrong, i am well aware that my girls still get plenty of toys and gifts(i can call them spoiled, but you can't). i just know that it is the other things that they will remember, that really make up their childhood memories. pretty sure caroline won't remember a set of clearance bouncy balls that she got at target this weekend, or that capt. america shield but feel pretty confident that she already cherishes her disney vacation memories. that's the way we like it!

so two saturdays ago (and we actually did it again this past saturday with some cousins) we had a fun time roasting marshmallows, making s'mores, and enjoying the fire pit on a very chilly evening. but now that i say the words 'roasting marshmallows,' i wonder if i always say roasting. do i say toasting? what is the correct word, cause now that i say one, the other seems more right? do you toast or roast your marshmallows?

either way, we had a great time doing it. those are the kind of memories i want caroline and hadley to have, of us doing super fun things together as a family. i enjoy that so, so much!

i think our great time is reflected pretty accurately in the images below-

waiting to get their s'mores on

such the action shot

even blue got in on the fun

she looks busted, right! eating too much chocolate again.
she didn't even eat a s'more

i think she is taking her roasting skills pretty seriously here

memories. right here. made them. just like that


wordless wednesday

our family friday fun

we had a family fun weekend. it was very fall-ish for us.

here is a glimpse into our fun friday night. (more to come on our festive saturday)

first, we went to a little pumpkin patch at the church down the street from us. we have been getting pumpkins from here since caroline was 3. so it's tradition.

our fun did not stop there. the girls and i attempted to actually carve a pumpkin. i have never done this before. caroline carved one for the first time with her grandpa last year but this was our first time to do it ourselves. and i must say two things... pumpkin guts are gross and carving a pumpkin isn't so tough with a stencil. i think you can actually tell it is a ghost in our jack-o-lantern.

dare i say we did more after that! we proceeded to have a lovely fire and hot chocolate with marshmallows. yummy! it was such a laid-back kind of fun night. i think the girls really enjoyed themselves.

and now for the proof that fun was had by all!

pirates! arrghh!

 hadley's smile cracks me up here

caroline's legs are so long!

see...it's a ghost!

(hadley doesn't look like she was participating in family fun here, but i promise she was!)


just around the corner

i am already getting super excited for chistmas. pinterest and today's cold snap are helping with that!

i feel like it is just around the corner. once you hit halloween, then it's turkey day, then the amazing holiday, christmas.  i love everything about it... the decorations, tree, stockings, advent calendars, giving gifts, getting holiday cards in the mail, watching kids open presents, baked goods, fires, cold temps, vacation days, lifetime movies (did i just admit that), and shopping. i love it all.

i already have shopping on my mind thanks to the amazing land of nod catalog i got in the mail yesterday. i adore this catalog. i want everything in it. they have such sweet, original room decor, old fashioned toys that actual utilize the imagination, great organizational items, and an overall clean, colorful look. love it all!

so, i decided i could (but won't) easily buy all the girls presents from here this year. i could forgo the gimmicky, overpriced, over-designed toys that the big name stores sell, but i am well aware the girls would miss getting those toys, as all of the commercial embed it in their little heads that these are the toys that santa must bring them.

so again i say... BUT if i were to buy all of the gifts from here, these are the sweet and simple gifts i would go with:

for hads:

i think i'd get it to say 'hadley,' though benjamin is a nice name ;)

and for caroline:

you can get an idea of their personalities based off the gifts, right?

62 days to go!


a groundhog kind of morning

i'm sure everyone has seen the bill murray comedy, "groundhog day."

and if you haven't seen it (which you should), the basic premise is the main character reliving the same day over and over and over again.

that is what my mornings with hadley have become. and it is over something so simple. getting dressed. and when i say it is like a comedy movie, i should add there is nothing comical about our mornings together. it is sad. it is frustrating. it is testing. it is bring me to tears exhausting. it is oh so many things, comical not being one of them.

let me replay our mornings:

fight mom on fixing my hair  (the only thing hadley lets me do to her hair every day, besides brush it, is one little, lone braid on the left side of her hair. that is it. oh, how i get so jealous when i see other little toddlers with little buns and pigtails in their hair)

fight mom on pants

fight mom on socks

fight mom on shoes

really fight mom on shoes

fight mom on coat

it is the same thing. every. day. though saturday and sunday are a little easier when it comes to shoes at least because she will wear her crocs. of all the cute, stylish shoes she has to wear(toms, miniboden, chucks to name a few), it pains me to say she loves her crocs. she can't wear them to school so the struggle is worse on the weekdays.

i am not sure what the issue is either (other than the obvious strong-willed child syndrome). the only thing i can think of is that she is just so used to the easy summer attire she had been wearing since last april on. so maybe now pants, shirts, and socks all just feel too different for her, too constricting and tight. not sure about the shoe problem since she's been wearing shoes, oh i don't know, since birth. i love shoes. they are one of my favorite things to buy the girls. now she just doesn't want to wear them.

long sleeve shirts are pretty comical too. she does this thing now where she just pushes them up above her elbows 80's style. every day. every shirt.  i think she is trying to start a new thing among preschoolers.

pants. well i have tried many different styles thinking one may be better than another. i have tried leggings, yoga-style pants, jeans, cords, tights, footless tights, and capris. to her, they all stink. they all have to come off before they even get above her knees. she has two super cute pairs of overalls hanging in her closet. every time i take a pair out, she quickly takes the hanger from my hand, walks to caroline's room, and hangs them on caroline's dresser. every time. she doesn't even entertain the idea of overalls. all she wants to wear is skirts. exposed legs get so chilly in these fall temps. i just can't let her do it.

and let me tell you, i have tried so many different approaches to getting pants, shoes, and jackets on her. shoes are by far the hardest to work with. i have tried bribes. yup, i bribe her with tootsie rolls, cookies, m&m's, basically anything sweet. i am not above it. i have tried rationalizing. can you even do that with a two year old? i have tried yelling. i am not proud but it is just so infuriating in that moment. my voice seems to raise naturally as if she will hear me and actually listen. i have tried mean. eek. hang my head in shame, especially since this approach didn't even work. this morning i made her walk out to the car barefoot, feeling the bitter cold pavement under her little toddler feet, hoping it would  'click' and she'd realize the necessity in shoes. as i said, it did not work. don't try it. i have tried simple patience. not even close to working. plus, i feel everything moves at a much slower pace and still with nothing accomplished. i feel like i have tried so many measures to work with her, to do something so basic, so simple, as to get dressed and out-the-door ready every day. nothing is working.

let me add the range of styles for her shoes is wide- sneakers with laces, sneakers w velcro, slip-on sneakers, high top sneakers, boots, and toms. goal being a shoe w rubber soles.

i am ready to crack.

i have shed tears.

help a mom out!

do you have any ideas, suggestions, thoughts, words of wisdom, anything to help us out?