Abbey has been picking me a bouquet of wildflowers from our upstairs neighbors’ garden plot every time we go outside – “before the flowers wilt and drop their seeds for winter!”
The other day for lunch, the Silly Bears really wanted to make pizza.
Lucky for them, mommy has all the ingredients on hand to make dough, and though we didn’t have mozzarella cheese, I figured cheddar would do.
We used the Quick No-Rise Pizza Crust from Kitchen Trials to make our dough. I don’t mind allowing dough to rise (obviously, judging by the amount of bread I make!) but the kiddos wanting pizza that very second drove me to google “no rise pizza dough” and this recipe was great!
about 12 minutes in the oven . . . And then, VIOLA! Pizza!
What do you like making with your children?
Everybody is talking about and posting pictures of their kids’ first days of school. Most of the chatter I hear amongst my friends is pride and relief – that they made it through another busy summer at home and are now ready to greet back to school time! Some of my friends with children Abbey’s age are musing about the feeling of sending off their little kiddos to Kindergarten for the first time.. .
Abbey was slotted to go to Kindergarten in Maine this fall, but our PCS to Alaska changed things. She missed the age cut off in Alaska for Kindergarten, and while at first I was unhappy about it, because she is really academically ready, I’m starting to realize that I would rather have her be one of the oldest in the class and more comfortable with school and emotionally/behaviorally ready before she enters kindergarten. So this works to her advantage.
She’ll be nearly six when she starts kindergarten next year, but boy, will she be ready to learn everything they will have to teach! She started at her new preschool for 4-5 year-olds this week and LOVED it.
With no apprehension, and a calm, quiet energy, she waltzed right in and put her things away, chatting with the teachers about this and that
. . . and then, as if remembering that she forgot. . . she ran up to jump in my arms for a big hug. “See you guys after school, mommy and Jo Jo!”
Joseph was already throwing a giant tearful tantrum, and it went on and off for 30 minutes after we dropped her off. “I want Abbey! Where’s Abbey!?” he cried. “I want school with Abbey!”
We played ran an errand to the grocery store, and played mega blocks and animals and read some books in the quiet house. We made and ate lunch, and then I laid down with him to nurse him for his nap. We fell asleep together, and when I woke up, I made some coffee, retreated to my office area, and got some schoolwork and shopping done without Abbey coming to me every 6 seconds in boredom.
It was nice. But by the time it was time to leave to go get her from school, I definitely was ready to have her back. I’m sure the bittersweet lonesome feeling like something’s missing for a few hours out of the day will go away in time. It did last year when she attended the Child Development Center while I worked on my online classes at home with Joe.
But there’s something about the quiet house and the lessened need for mommy while she’s away. It’s both awesome and lonesome at the same time.
“Don’t put me on your back when we go get Abbey.” said Joe in his little toddler voice when he woke up from his nap. I had worn him in the Ergo when we dropped Abbey off to keep him from running into the classrooms to play with toys. . . and to make handling the tantrum (that I knew was coming) a little easier.
“I done crying. I walk on my own. . . we pick up Abbey. . . I a BIG boy. Okay, mommy?”
Okay, little guy. And he was a big boy when we went to go pick her up. It was amazing how he reconciled his emotions and informed me passionately that he was ready to get get her from school, but that he wasn’t sad anymore.
What a big girl she is becoming. And what a big little boy Joe is lately! I look at them and I have to struggle to remember Joe being tiny. . . Abbey – well, I can’t believe she was a ever a baby (but of course, I know she was)! Sweet Abbey, may all your school days be as effortless and joyful as this one was. And Joseph, my little man, may you grow into a little school-bug yourself someday . . . Mommy loves you both!
If you send your children to mainstream school, how do you feel on their first days? Tell me below!
Even if your kids aren’t in school, how do you feel when your child goes off to an enrichment activity, or to play with a friend? Proud? Relieved? A little lonesome? Chat with me in the comments!
Yep, it’s that time again: When Amy gets so busy that her Mamatography posts go from weekly to monthly.
That happen to any of you other mamas out there? I hope it’s not just me!
Since we finished our BIG PCS from Maine to Kodiak Island Alaska, I have been busy busy busy setting up our home, caring for our kids, meeting new friends, getting used to the island, training a new dog, starting my new semester of Public Health classes, and mapping out my classes left until graduation and cheering with joy that I’ll have a BS in Public Health in 2015! Yippee!
I have also been seeking out and enrolling Abbey in a preschool, enrolling myself in an online lactation conference (to continue my lactation-specific education for the IBCLC requirements), figuring out what toddler experiences there are available for Joe here on the island. . . and consequently remembering that Joe will be 3 this coming Spring. O – M – G. How is that happening.
What else. . .
I’ve also been planning Abbey’s birthday party, trying to wring out of the Silly Bears what they would like to be for Halloween (so that I can order in the required materials and get to planning and sewing) . . . oh, and I’m trying to set up a La Leche League meeting for the area AND re-establish my Silly Bear Handmade shop after the move.
And Hubs has been gone to school in VA for 3 weeks.
But I have been taking pictures!
I have now finished this knitting project – - – a cotton hoodie from Toddler Hoodie pattern on Etsy for a special family member who turns one in a few weeks!
And this lovely project is now hanging in my kitchen window – - – used up some scraps on this one (that seems to be a theme with my sewing lately. . . you’ll see later)
Aha! More scrap busting going on in this photo – - – see if you can spot what this eventually became in one of the other August photos as you scroll down!
Abbey, who is turning 5 in September, has celebrated quite a few milestones recently: She weaned from the breast at the end of her full-term breastfeeding experience, she moved all the way across the country with us, and she started swimming lessons! I love this girl. So Much.
Joseph wasn’t such a fan of Abbey getting to swim and him not being able to (gotta be four to take swim classes, buddy! His response: “I AM four!” LOL).
But his new love interest, one of my new Coastie Wife friends, pepped him up with a surprise visit during Abbey’s swim class one day. He was very pleased.
Our handsome man modeling the fleece-crotched training pants I made him. Like Abbey, he is now having less interest in using the potty, but I’m hoping with gentle reminders, we’ll be out of diapers and potty learned around 3, like she was.
They’re super cute though – the trainers. I’m loving them. His little knees and cinnamon roll belly button are to die for too, though.
We’ve been doing lots of baking on rainy days. . . It’s easier to bake in our new kitchen. It’s about the same size as our kitchen in Maine, but not galley-shaped, and not a walk through area (unless you’re coming in the back door) . . . I like the space and Abbey likes being in it with me!
Blueberry Biscuits. Yummy.
Super easy (and sooooo delicious french bread)
And on a sunny day, we have lots of park time and coloring with sidewalk chalk!
Oh, and hiking.
And salmonberry picking.
Thankfully for my husband’s psyche, Abbey hasn’t dressed up Joseph as a girl in quite a few weeks. Glad I snapped this jewel when I did then!
We love dress up, but we love coloring more.
And we love our new puppy, Mya.
Raven stayed behind at Nana and Papas house because we weren’t positive that we wouldn’t harm her physically or emotionally by driving her (or shipping her) all the way to Kodiak. She is enjoying being spoiled rotten by her “grand-people” and though we miss her, we know she is happy and healthy and that is all that matters!
Abbey constantly tells Mya stories about “our other dog Raven”
I couldn’t help but post this picture of Joseph in a classic toddler moment. The “I refused to take a nap, so then we went on a hike to pass the time, and I fell asleep on the sofa when we got back.” One of many classic toddler moments.
Another knitting project. I can’t ever just do one thing at a time – - – can I?
Abbey being a puppy with Mya under my desk in my sewing room/office. Love my work buddies.
Have you seen the completed project yet? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, scroll back up the top. . .
My human work buddy brought me her rainbow bear to sit in my sofa pin cushion. So sweet.
Ah, there she is! My work buddy and my little mermaid!
Joe lined up all the ducks he could steal from the lifeguard’s basket and set them all up looking out the window.
I wonder what he was wishing about while Abbey was having her lesson? LOL
Oh yeah. . . park time!!!!!!!!!
And my post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of wild-caught fresh alaskan salmon. One of the perks of being up here on this isolated Alaskan island! Yum!
That was our August. How was YOURS?
We are taking (at least) a photo a day to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!
Welcome to the August 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Sibling Revelry
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about siblings — their own, their hopes for their kids, and more. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Five years ago, I was childless. And now, I have two beautiful children that both inspire and mystify me – two little siblings that love and challenge each other as they grow up together. It’s pretty amazing.
Growing up with a brother ten years my senior, I am thankful that God has blessed us with two little Silly Bears closer in age than my husband and I were to our siblings. My brother and I were (not purposefully) ten years apart in age, and I have a few fond memories of our interaction when I was small, but not much interaction with him, because he was already off at high school and college and in his own young adult world by the time I was really interested in having a playmate. I was just the kid sister, never really a playmate to my brother.
It’s just so much fun for Abbey and Joe to play together, bond over struggles, and practice social situations in pretend play being close in age. Abbey and Joseph are two and a half years apart, and this seems to be a really fun age gap (and one that worked well for us!). I can’t imagine being pregnant now, or adding another sibling to the Willa clan right now, but that is how it was for Abbey and my pregnancy with Joe.
Fast forward two years: Abbey and Joseph both love and challenge one another.
Abbey is showing Joe all the fun things to do, like pretending, doing crafts, and even going potty (yep, Joe thinks it’s super fun – thanks Abbey!)
And Joe is showing Abbey that there are limits to her older-sibling power. He is big enough now to stand up for himself, and report breaches of household rules when Abbey lets her strong will take her off course during sibling play.
Have I told you yet how amazing it is that I can sit down and have a cup of tea or coffee while our Silly Bears scamper off to play “pretend kindergarten” or “Alice and the Mad Hatter”, “Ninja Turtles”, “Princess Ball” or “Sports” in their rooms? It’s an intoxicating glimpse into the future, when I can really enjoy “the sweet spot” that moms of older children get to experience —
- – - “I’ve been so deep in The Blur for so many years. Not sleeping, eating cold mac and cheese off of Winnie the Pooh plates. Every day determined by nap schedules, nursing, diaper changes and preschool pick up. But that has changed over the past year or so, without me even noticing.” writes Juliana Miner, a fellow blogger, in her article “The Sweet Spot”.
When I hear my sweet silly bears chattering and playing and growing together in their vibrant sibling revelry, I sit back and enjoy the fact that they don’t need me in that moment. They might need me in a few seconds, but for just that small amount of time, the Blur softens, and I can breathe a little.
I’m insanely glad that we were blessed to be able to give Abbey a sibling within the window that we planned. It’s so fun to watch them grow and change, and such a benefit to me to see their relationship adjusting to their growing ages and stages – - – even allowing me a few seconds of down time every now and again.
How is the sibling relationship in your experience? Have you witnessed or experienced sibling revelry?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- The Damage of Comparing Siblings — Comparing siblings can lead to hurt feelings and poor relationships. What Jana Falls has learned and why she hopes for more for her son.
- Connecting Through Sibling Rivalry — With four children who are spaced so that each child grows up in a pair, Destany at They are All of Me shares her method for minimizing the competition so her children can focus on bonding, rather than besting each other.
- Sibling Revelry — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares the two-week transition that happens every summer as her kids transform from bickering to learning how to play.
- Baby Brother born from an Ocean — Abby Jaramillo describes how her toddler connects in a possibly mystical way with her new baby brother and his birth at home, and Abby draws parallels with her own sister’s new baby.
- Hard, But Worth It — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl discusses how difficult having two children can be, but how it’s definitely worth it.
- Raising Attached Siblings — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy and her husband are making conscious choices about how they raise their children to foster sibling connection and attachment.
- It’s Complicated — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea reflects on how life’s twists and turns have taken her from a childhood with no siblings to a constantly changing family life with five children, including one in spirit.
- Support — sustainablemum reflects on how the differences between her relationship with her siblings and her husband’s have affected their family and at a time of need.
- Peas in a Pod — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys the special relationship her oldest two children share.
- Lessening the competitive enviornment in the home — Lisa at The Squishable Baby discusses how downplaying competition in the home has led to cooperation, not competition.
- The complex and wonderful world of siblings — Lauren at Hobo Mamareflects on her choices to have not too many children, spaced far apart — and how that’s maybe limited how close their sibling relationship can be.
- 5 Ways to Help Young Siblings Have a Loving Relationship — Charise I Thought I Knew Mama shares the strategies that help her three year old and 14 month old have a somewhat beautiful relationship and aid in keeping peace in their home.
- 4 Steps to Encourage Sibling Revelry, even in Hot Moments of Rivalry — Sheila Pai of A Living Family share 4 Steps she uses to shift hot moments of sibling rivalry towards connected moments of sibling revelry and human compassion.
- Twins Are Fun — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot witnesses the development of her twins’ sibling bond.
- Growing Up Together- Sibling Revelry in Our House — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work realizes that there is great utility in raising siblings that are close in age, and is grateful to have been blessed with healthy siblings that both love and challenge one another every day.
- Top 5 Ways to Reduce Sibling Rivalry — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares ideas that helped her two children be best friends along with Montessori resources for peace education and conflict resolution.
- Sibling Uncertainty — Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras wonders how her children’s relationship will change now that the baby is mobile.
- Living with the Longing — Rachael at The Variegated Life sees that she can live with her longing for another — without changing her plans.
- For My One and Only Daughter — Playing for Peace mommy reflects on her choice to not have more children in order to focus on other dreams.
- Siblings: A Crash Course in Relationship Training — How have your siblings prepared you for later relationships? One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama’s top priorities as mama of siblings is to help them learn how to navigate relationships.
- The Joys of Siblings: An Inside Joke — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares the a glimpse into the joys of having siblings through sharing a perplexing yet hilarious inside joke betwixt her and her own.
- Sibling Support, even in the potty! — Even though Laura at Pug in the Kitchen‘s children didn’t start out best friends, they are joined at the hip these days, including cheering each other on with potty successes!
- Don’t Seek What Isn’t There – On Sibling Jealousy — Laura from Authentic Parenting analyzes the seeming desire people harbor for seeking out hints of sibling jealousy.
- Sibling Love / Sibling Hate? — Momma Jorje speculates whether her children will have a different sibling experience than her own. Did she make the right choices based on her own history?
Though I have definitely nursed both of my children in numerous places, including church, on a hike, on airplanes, and whenever needed. . . these are the only photographs that I can scrounge up today for our picture post to raise up all nursing mamas during Breastfeeding Week, 2013. All of them are of Joseph nursing. Abbey recently weaned (I think) naturally at the age of 4 1/2.
Here’s Lookin’ at YOU, nursing mama!
Where have YOU nursed your baby or child?
Our family just experienced our second (and biggest) military PCS – from Kittery, Maine ALL the way across the country and up into Alaska to Kodiak Island.
You can read all about our journey and all the fun stuff and interesting experiences we had at Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3 of our PCS journey (I didn’t blog at all while we were in Weeks 4-6 of our journey. . . they were too hectic while we made it through Canada, finally got to our last ferry, and then awaited a housing assignment while we got here. I just focused on my family and getting us through it!)
It’s been an interesting, kind of crazy, enjoyable, but also bumpy six weeks, and I’m thrilled to report that we now:
1. Have a house (erm. . . housing unit) and are starting to really love it (more on that later. . . )
2. Have met some great new friends.
3. Are finally back on a routine that works for us, and enables my children to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted.
Number 3 is definitely the most important one, to me. Both Abbey (almost 5) and Joe (2) were really out of sorts by the time we finally made it onto our last ferry ride up to Kodiak, and were really, extremely off-kilter and stressed the week that we had to stay in the Guest House before we were assigned a housing unit in Coast Guard Housing.
Not that anybody could have done anything more to prevent those stressful days. . . but they were SO stressful.
Having the kids back on a good routine of homemade food, consistent rest/nap times, socialization, and an overall stable home environment has made a world of difference in our family dynamic, and we are so grateful for finally being somewhat settled here in our new home.
Kodiak Island, AK is beautiful, the Coast Guard base here at Airstation Kodiak is a wonderful place to live, and the commissary and exchange, though not as large and comprehensive as other military bases, is definitely helpful in making sure that we have places to buy the things we need at less-inflated prices than off base retailers offer.
Hubs’ friends, the husbands of my new friends, have been keeping him busy fishing for halibut and salmon, and he’s really enjoying the summer here. We even took the kids down to the river the other day, and they enjoyed themselves immensely, splashing around and attempting to get the hang of a fishing pole.
So, yes. I’m still here. And yes, I am finally getting to a point where I can focus a little bit on my work here at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work, in my college courses that are coming up soon, and in my Silly Bear Handmade handmade shop (which I’m thinking about expanding to offer local military tailoring services as well). So, hurray for a settled family dynamic, after all the stress and hectic nature of the past two months! Thank you to all of you who have supported us through this time – it is so much appreciated!
Upcoming posts that I have in the works include some tutorials on furniture painting and woodcrafts, my experiences organizing and decorating our new home, and of course, some breastfeeding advocacy as we come up on World Breastfeeding Week.