Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coming out of her shell

Madeline just finished her first "dance" class at the rec center. It's called a dance class, but it mostly involved three year olds wandering around, rolling on the floor and doing their own thing. But it accomplished what we wanted it to.

Here was how Madeline started. She just wanted to sit on the stage or stand by herself and just watch.

And here was her last class. Believe me, she was still by far the quietest girl in there. We had to have little talks before each class about following Miss Kate, not sitting on the stage, participating, making eye contact and having fun. Although she was quiet, she was always right behind her teacher doing everything she asked. During "free dance" she was doing exactly what Miss Kate did. Haha...I guess she was listening to me?

Since we have moved here, Madeline has definitely made progress in the social department, but most people in general don't think she talks. She has a hard time being herself around large groups. Since she was a tiny baby, she preferred just watching and observing from the outside. It's amazing how those personality traits are part of them from the beginning. It's hard as a mom (and a dad) to see her struggle being social or engage in natural play with other kids, to have kids ask why she isn't talking, or to clam up and not play when there are a lot of people at the park, especially when she can be an energetic, creative and sweet girl at home who would make a wonderful friend for someone if she'd just open up.

Luckily, in the last few months, we have seen progress as she has enjoyed having friends over, finally likes and looks forward to going to nursery, will answer people in public when they ask her questions, and overall is gaining confidence.

Being reserved may always be part of her personality. I just hope I can give her opportunities to help her gain the confidence and the self esteem for her to be happy and accomplish whatever her little heart desires.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I added a few more cute things to my etsy shop - just in time for holiday gifts. These little boots are adorable, if I do say so myself. :) It's been fun to keep busy with these. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Our lucky kids have gotten to be with some pretty great people lately.

A few weeks ago, Matt's parents (Pops and Grandma 'Nette) came to Iowa to visit. It was so fun to be with them and the kids, of course, were in heaven.

We found a gorgeous nature trail around Coralville Lake.

This is what they did most of, though:

The week after that, the kids and I traveled to Spokane. I have to say it was pretty great being the only kid staying with them. Don't get me wrong, I love the hectic, full household of siblings and grandkids around the holidays, but we got precious one on one time and the kids loved being with Grandpa Steve and Grandma Julie.

Since there was a 2 hour time difference, the kids and I saw the gorgeous sunrise every morning :)
I love the fireplace at my parents' house. The kids helped keep it burning.
Charlie rarely left the kitchen since the "snack closet" or pantry was full of treats. He would take all of his toys in there - hence the puzzles...
Charlie loved reading his favorite book with Grandpa. Of course Madeline wanted in on it, too.

A trip to Spokane would not be complete without visiting their great-grandparents.

Here are Grandma and Grandpa Bates (Grandma recently turned 97!)

And Grandma and Grandpa Anglesey

We feel awfully blessed to have all of these wonderful people in our lives!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What do we know...

Madeline loving her brother while they eat cinnamon and sugar pie dough scraps.

In the last week or so, the kids have been extra grumpy, whiny, tired, needy, you name it. Which means their mommy has been the same. I'm guessing it's from vacation, traveling, time changes and more time changes. I haven't been feeling very patient or understanding . You know the feeling when the kids go to bed and you look into those sweet faces and feel like you can do better?

Well during lunch today, we had a sweet conversation that reminded me of why I'm so glad I have my kids to teach me and make me a better person.

I brought Madeline her milk in a pink cup.

M- Mom! (yes she now calls me mom instead of mommy. A little sad for me.) How did you know I wanted pink?!

me - I'm your mom. I know you, Madeline.

M- Hmm.. you know me. Well, what do we know about Charlie? He loves dogs, he likes reading books, he LOVES to go outside, and he likes to scream in the car. (a new and very bothersome thing for madeline. He does it to get to her.)

me - You do know Charlie! What do we know about Daddy?

M- He likes to play with water on the deck with us, he likes helping people and he loves to go camping.

me - You know Daddy. What do you know about me?

M - I know you love Daddy. I know you love me, and I know you love Charlie. You like making things, too.

She could have pointed out a number of my weaknesses, but instead she focused on some of our best qualities and things I think she loves about each of us. (except for charlie screaming!) Maybe that's why we're told to be child like. Because they forgive and forget very easily. I feel extremely blessed to be a mom.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm Open for Business!

Check out my etsy shop HERE. or click on my little link above (right below our blog header)