Pumpkin Carving Party!

8:48 PM
It's no secret, I love to throw a party.
Though Pintrest enhanced my love, & stressful-ness of perfection; I've always loved a reason to gather people I love!
Originally the party was meant for last weekend. But both girls ended up sick!
As a result, litterly more than half of the people invited couldn't come from pushing it up a week. When it was freezing so a lot of activities were cancelled.
So just family attended, which was still a blast & thankful for time with them

I will have how to make these pumpkin shaped tortilla chips on another post!!

Where'd ya get that?
Almost everything was purchased at the Dollar Tree
Banner, blow up Skelton game & Soda Decals: Party City
Skull, Bat silhouettes, black netting, Spider web bowl, Crows & Skull platter: Dollar Tree
Witches toss made my me!
Foam board, 3 Styrofoam cones painted black & cut out the buckles from card stock!


God gives us those.

8:52 PM
Im sitting here in the dark, with the just light from the fireplace.
There's dishes in the sink. The kitchen table has salt all over it, because while I was tending to Kennedy; Kensley got up on the chair & emptied the whole shaker for her amusement.
And Dinner is still in serving dishes on the table.
My patience is on E.
I want the biggest glass of wine & for my husband to give me a hug.
 I put both girls to bed with out saying a word to bed time stall tactics, kisses & hugs & a "I love you" & now they are snug in their Christmas jammies in their bed.

Earlier, the TV was off from after having dinner. We sat by the fire & colored the candy corn coloring pages I made for them. I was taking everything in.

Kennedy decided we needed to read books, as she often does.
 She knows we have "school" tomorrow & no doubt we will need another mountain of fresh books.

We have Thanksgiving books this week. All the good ones are always gone near the holiday, so you have to get them early. Holiday knowledge prep, of course.

I look around, looking at everything.
Looking at my life, right now.
Every single thing.

I smile.
& I want to hold on to it forever.
Kensley little fingers. The way she smells her bunny blanket.
The left over mac & cheese on her sleeve.
 Kennedy lost in books, always,always. & Amara never leaving her side.
"look at your life" I keep saying to myself.
It has been a tough week.
A real tough week.
& my eyes start to well up with tears for the umpteenth time this week
& then my girl asks me to read her a story.

We need days & moments like this.
We come down with "mommy amnesia" sit back, stop for just a second & smile.
We need those moments that make us forget that we now need a new salt shaker, & that for whatever reason your toddler pooped her pants for the second time today.
Those are moments that make it all worth it.
God gives us those.

Kennedy: the sour patch kid

7:00 AM
You know the commercial, for sour patch kids.
They say "first their sour...then their sweet"?
That my girl.
When people say terrible 2's are..well..terrible I thought yeah, they aren't so bad. Ive raised my nieces at the age, but it isn't THAT bad.
Kennedy was different.
After I had Kensley something snapped. She wasn't my 24/7 snuggly,laid back girl.
She was still snuggly but when prompted with something she didn't want to do, she turned into this child I didn't know.
I remember many times calling my friend, husband or mom bawling after leaving a store, restaurant, or doctors apt just defeated.
"maybe you should put her in school" "is that normal?" they would say.
I spent so many sleepless night, crying & reading every thing I found under "2 year old with tantrums"
She would scream, & scream & scream. Many nights during bedtime {when they were the worse} bring herself to hyperventilation.
I was more than embarrassed when out in public, or over for a playdate.
People would give horrible looks & say the most hurtful things. I was always amazed on what was said to me by a complete stranger. The word "brat" & "can you believe that kid" said to their significant other in the grocery isle would leave in a bawling mess out in my car for at least 20 mins.
I started being consumed with her bad behavior. & embarrassingly now admit it took over thoughts of her awesome behavior. Which if I had taken time to look at, would have led me to how to deal with her tantrums.
I would look to my other mom friends for something, anything to tell me this was normal.
Their toddlers had tantrums no doubt that every toddler does. But Kennedy?  Hers were different.
So one night while typing in different things into google, a page of "autism tantrums" came up.
I read the list, she was doing more than half of them.
I could barely believe what I was reading.
The next day we went to the Pediatrician. & When I brought up? She looked at me & laughed.
"Tara she DOES NOT have Autism" I rolled my eyes. Something is wrong. & When my phone died right that second, Kennedy showed her just what I was talking about.
Her Doctor sat me down, & said she was going to tell me exactly what was wrong with her. I thought to myself, FINALLY, something that will tell me WHY she is acting this way.
She looked at me, grabbed my hand & said "There is not one thing wrong with Kennedy, she is beautiful, smart, healthy & 100% normal. But, she is one thing & that is strong-willed" She gave me some suggestions & what to do when she is "too far gone" using a old wives trick,which includes splashing water to the face!
I had a sense of relief, but still had her do some in office tests of Autism factors. She didn't meet one of the characteristics.
I could breathe.
But that didn't make the tantrums stop. I was still left with this monster of a child that would come out completely unexpectedly.
Her bow fell off in the backseat where I couldn't see?
 Full out crazy tantrum.
What was I doing wrong? Obviously her behavior was a reflection of my parenting. Where did I go wrong?
I tried everything, down to spanking; which I swore I would never do. Nothing worked.
And one day I read this:
I needed to get past what was WRONG with her & it was something I WAS doing to make her this way.  Cause it was neither of those things.
I decided to read more on "strong willed children"..Some things were not for me. Something's worked like.. Holding her hands, telling her calm down & lets count.1..2...3. Its the heart with Kennedy, time out, ect. would have no effect with her. But saying, "you are being naught Kennedy, & that hurts my feelings" would work.
Kennedys behavior was a HUGE {but not full} refection of having a sister. She was everyone's whole world, when I saw that; im not exaggerating. Everyone in our families was obsessed with Kennedy & now she had to share that spot light with someone else now. So in turn we have learned that we HAVE to make time for JUST Kennedy. Whether it be taking her something like Disney on Ice or as simple as frozen yogurt. She needed that time, to know we are still here & still have time for her. & since doing that we have had biggest change in our girl.
Yes it makes things more difficult to have my child take 15 mins to come down from a tantrum, than the other toddler in my play group. & heck that toddler doesn't even throw a real tantrum compared to my Kennedy. But Kennedy is kind, sweet, so helping, a awesome share-er, so so sensitive & tenderhearted {she gets that from me}, incredibly funny {she gets that from her dad}
Now, over a year and a half of crazy tantrums we are 98% tantrum free.  Why am I writing about this? My embarrassment isn't there anymore. I don't cry like I used to. But mostly, to the mom googling your child's tantrums & landed here.. I want people to know your child is normal. Tantrums are normal. & while it doesn't seem like it, it gets better. So so much better.
 & If your reading this & don't have a child or do, be slow to give that side eye view or the "look at child. OMG" look at the mom in the supermarket today. She doesn't want her child acting that anymore than you do, your looks & remarks will bring her to a low she has never wanted to go to. Be kind.

Toddler Learning: Top Toddler Fall Books!

2:49 PM

1. Leaf Jumpers/Carole Gerber//2. Leaves In Fall/Martha E.H. Rustad// 2.Fall Leaves Fall/Zoe Hall//4.Who Loves The Fall/Bob Raczka/5.Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf/Louis Ehlert/6.Awesome Autumn/Bruce Goldstone

Toddler Learning: Hand & Finger Print Tree

2:49 PM
I can't take the credit for this one! Kensley's infant storytime class did this! We missed it from being sick, but we got to do it at home!

-Brown construction Paper
-Additional Paper {any color}
-paint or ink pads

1.Trace your tots hand on brown paper.
2.Cut out silloute then glue onto additional paper.
3.Use paint or ink pad & have your tot dip their finger & press around their branches/fingers to make tree leaves!

For more past activities click below: