April 29, 2011

When I Grow Up

Every parent dreams about what their children will be when they grow up and Josh and I are no exception.

Well, the other day I dressed Abigail in some overalls that were passed on to her by her second cousin in Kentucky.  (Thank you so much Aunt Jean and Grandma Klynstra for sending them up to Alaska)

It looked like our little lady could be some sort of mechanic.  What is it about overalls and a red shirt that brings that out?  I am not sure but Josh and I thought it was great.

So Josh found some of his smallest tools to see just what Abigail thought about being a hard working girl.  She waved the tools, ate the tools, dropped the tools to test their endurance and gave us a big smile.

Because only she knows what she will be when she grows up and no matter what it is, we will love her so much.  And as cute as she looks all dressed in her overalls and holding tools we don’t want her to grow up too soon.  Time will take care of that on its own without our help at all.

April 28, 2011

Design Team’s Summer Plans

I know I talk a lot about spring on this blog.  I guess maybe by talking about it I feel that it might just arrive.  But it isn’t here yet.  We do watch more and more snow melt each day and I now wear my break-up boots for my daily walks with Abigail but the ground is still frozen solid.  But you know what, it will come and when it does we want to be ready.  Long summer days are precious around here and we don’t ever want to loose any of them to planning that could be done during the indoor days of winter.  So with that said, you can imagine just how busy my design team has been recently.

Because you see this summer there are projects to be done.  The big one for this year is the deck for the house.  So with price sheets from all of the hardware stores in town, a calculator, ruler and pencil Josh has been designing, writing itemized shopping lists and getting us price estimates for the work that is to be done. 

Even with the snow on the ground, there is work to be done before our dreams of eating dinner on our deck can become a reality.  Go Design Team Go, summer will be here before we know it.

April 27, 2011

Happy Birthday To You

Today is the birthday of one very special person in our lives.

And we want to take this chance, on this blog, to wish Hillary a happy birthday.

We love you Hillary.  Hope this day is super special and the great start of a new year.

April 26, 2011

Table for Three

Friends of ours recently gave us their highchair that their little girl had outgrown.  Since Abigail is not able to sit up on her own yet we have kept it stored away.  But the other day I took it out to see how she would do in it, with the help of a blanket or two for support.

And she did great.  Now when Josh and I eat dinner Abigail sits up at table height and plays. It will not be long now before we are all eating together.

April 25, 2011

Easter Sunday, 2011

Easter for this little family was a busy but also super fun.  

It all started with a wake up call at 4:30 am so that our little girl could be fed before we had to be out the door at 5:15am.

Our early wake up call was so we could make the drive across town in the pre-dawn light.  A drive full of joy, anticipation, and reflection as we thought back to the early morning the women came to Jesus’ grave to find it empty.

We love starting our Ester mornings out with a sunrise service.  Yesterday morning was amazing.  We watched the sun come up over the hills and reflect on all of the mountains to the south (if you zoom in on the picture you can see them behind us).  Because Easter is later in April this year we had to get up earlier (sunrise was at 5:42am) but it also means it was warmer.  With the temperature around 30 it was chilly but so wonderful to be out in the fresh air.

Then it was time to come home where Josh and Abigail took a nap while made monkey bread for a potluck breakfast and a rhubarb pie for a potluck lunch, it was going to be a busy day.  But soon it was time to get dressed up. 

Abigail was super excited about her new Easter Dress from Aunt Hillary and Easter bonnet that I wore when I was Abigail’s size.

And thanks for our friend Linda Mason from church; Abigail had a new Easter basket with a homemade outfit that she made for our little lady.  With us all dressed up we headed to church for breakfast and a wonderful service.

After service we took a short break at Josh’s office before heading to have a potluck with friends at LifePoint before coming home super tired.  One regret I have is that we never got a picture of the three of us.  There was just too much going on.  But I know we will look back on Abigail’s first Easter with great memories of celebrating Christ’s resurrection and the friends we rejoiced with.

April 22, 2011

Random Things

The following are just some random thoughts that have come to my mind recently.  I thought I would put all together in one post, as they really aren’t worth enough thoughts to be solo. 

1.      When Abigail was born my cousin sent Abigail a bunch of fun board books.  One of my favorites is called the Napping House.  This past Sunday after church Abigail went down for a nap as soon as we got home.  After lunch Josh and I joined her in slumber.  And as we dozed off all I could think was, “there was a house, a napping house where everyone is sleeping.”  How thankful I was for a restful Sunday afternoon and that silly quote that just wouldn’t leave my head.  Thank you Mandy for such a fun book.

1.      I was way too excited about planting my seeds for the vegetable garden this year.  So excited that I planted them way too early and I now have had to transplant the starters into bigger and bigger containers as I wait for the snow to melt.  I did just start new seeds this week on the off chance that these other ones get too big they die while being transplanted into the garden next month.  Note to self next year, sun in March does not mean spring.

.      TIME magazine update.  So with the nursing/health problems we were dealing with last week, TIME magazine was not read.  But this week I have been determined to catch up and right now I am only one week behind.  Whoo Hoo.  Have no fear though; when I am caught I will still have plenty to read around the house.  Plus we can’t forget, a new TIME comes every week.

April 21, 2011

Learning That Pictures Come First

In getting Abigail ready for church the other morning I had fun getting her spring dress to match our Alaskan spring weather.  

We sometimes pair our dresses with sweaters around here but on this day we choose instead to just fit the dress with a long sleeved onsie under her dress.

And with the hair bow that Grandma D. made for Abigail, she was as happy as could be all dressed up.

And Josh and I were happy that we took her pictures before church, because with a baby you just don’t know what is going to happen.  

Such as spit up all over the baby and the mama as Abigail’s coat was being put on.  Thus we had a quick outfit change in the basement.  So instead of wearing her flowered dress Abigail wore this outfit, purchased in 1979 from England for my sister by Grandma Jean that was then pass to me and now is being worn by Abigail.  Since this wasn’t the intended outfit for the day we don’t have a great picture but it will be worn another day and on that day we will take pictures first because as this week reminded us, you just don’t know what is going to happen.

April 20, 2011

One Last Thing for the Nursery

In preparing the nursery for Abigail’s arrival this past winter we did so much.  We put up trim, refinished the dresser, hung pictures, sewed curtains and bedding, and put the closet light in and hung the doors.  The one thing there just wasn’t time for was for Josh to build Abigail a bookcase.  But in the grand scheme of what was happening in our lives; that was ok.

And so the books have just sat in a pile.  Just waiting for when the time came that a bookcase could be worked on.

So you can imagine my joy and excitement when I cam downstairs the other morning to see what Josh had finished.

Josh had done such an amazing job.  He built it out of maple wood so it would match the dresser and crib in the nursery.  I just could not wait for it to be moved upstairs and in place.

Once there it didn’t take me long to fill it up.  The top two shelves are chapter books, I know a little too early for Abigail to read those, but they were mine and now they are Abigail’s to enjoy when she gets older.

So thank you Josh for being amazing.  It is a beautiful bookshelf and will be used and loved by Abigail for many, many years.  We love it!

April 19, 2011

Friends from Far Away

Last week was a fun one for this family.  Several of our friends came to visit and to meet our little lady for this first time.

Ben and Kari came up from Soldotna to stay with us for the weekend so that Kari could attend a nursing conference.  We had not gotten the chance to see them since their wedding in Kansas last June.  It was super fun to catch up, play games and have them meet Abigail.

And all in the same weekend our friend Molly from Wasilla came up to visit friends in Fairbanks as well.  She came over to meet Abigail and our little lady fell in love.  I haven’t seen her so enthralled or in love with anyone quite like she was with Molly.  Overall it was such a wonderful time for all of us. 

April 18, 2011

Kathleen’s Spring Started April 16th

Everyone has their own definition of spring.  For some it is the calendar or the arrival of birds or growing flowers or snow melting.  But for me, here in Alaska where spring comes a little later then most places, it is something a little different.

For me spring starts when I can hang the first load of laundry out on the clothesline and they don’t just freeze, they actually dry.  So for this Alaskan girl, spring started this year on April 16th.  

Yes, spring has arrived, even if it means I have to hang my laundry in my winter boots.

April 15, 2011

Abigail loves to play. She usually gets a little camera shy.  As can be seen in the last photo, when she realized there was a camera around she gave us here serious face.  

We just need to keep reminding ourselves this is a great time in her life. She can't crawl or walk yet, so we don't have to worry about her making a break for it.  

April 14, 2011

The Center Tree

There is a big birch tree that stands between our parking area and the house.  It is beautiful outside my window each day but sadly it is dying.  When the driveway was put in one if its main roots was cut.  And then when the house foundation was put in another one of the roots was severed.  And as much as I love this tree Josh has been concerned to see more and more of the branches die each year.  The tree is too close to the house to let it die on its own since we don’t want it falling over during a storm and hitting the house in the next few years.

So the other day Josh climbed up it and tied on a rope for me to pull as he cut it down.  It was time to say goodbye. 

Josh has promised me that this summer we will go find another, smaller and healthier, tree to put in its place.  But it is still hard for me to see another tree get cut down.  This tree isn’t done serving us yet though, it will be cut up, split and dried so that it can warm our home in the wood stove in winters to come.  

April 13, 2011

So Unexpected

I can not believe that I, the mother who has produced so much extra breastmilk that I had mastitis one week after birth and had to go on to pumping almost daily the extra my daughter could not eat for three months, would now be drinking tea to produce more milk. all so that I can feed Abigail off of one breast so the other one can heal from milk blisters. All the while having a four month old cry because all she wants is the injured breast. Oh boy. Not where I thought I would be at all at this point. But having just poured out a glimpse of my past few days I am happy to report a Abigail's shots appointment today she weighted 15 lbs and 1 oz. Even with these struggles she is still gaining weight!

Things To Remember

I know that I have already written a “things to remember” post two weeks ago but I enjoy getting to look back at it and already see the changes.  So this is leading me to write another post of things Abigail is up to these days.  This will be an update for you and a reminder for me of how fast things are changing.

1.      When Abigail nurses to sleep, just before a nap or at night, and her body is all relaxed she likes to cross her ankles.  I love to watch her feet at night when she is in her nightgown with her little bare feet sticking out.  She has her ankles crossed and wiggles her toes.  Since she has her eyes closed for a lot of these before sleep nursings I know she is really asleep when her feet finally relax.

2.      Abigail has found her higher pitched voice.  She loves to squeal as she plays with her toys.  Josh and I find this extremely humorous.

3.       The other day I was holding her in the kitchen as I was trying to get dinner ready with one hand and she reached out and patted my cheek before holding on to my hair, not painfully, but just to be secure as she watched me put things on the counter.  I just love having my girl close and having her know I am here for her security. 

4.      Abigail had her four month well baby check last week, weight in and first of her two vaccines (I split her four vaccines up by a week so this week we will go back for the other two).  Here stats so far:  weight:  14 lbs 13 oz and height 24 ½ inches.  One growing girl.

April 12, 2011

Taking a Walk

Last summer I wrote a post about the Fairbanks Free Sale.  A great thing put on by the university where you bring things you don’t want and take things you do for a few hours on a Saturday and there is no charge for anything.  At the free sale last May Josh found a jogger stroller that needed a little repair.  So I bought some webbing to fix a hole and Josh replaced a tire inter tube and we were good to go.

And now that the days are a little warmer, instead of carrying Abigail on our daily walks she gets to ride in her fun stroller.  I am thrilled with a stroller that has bigger tires that can handle the snow and slush and that the seat reclines a little for our little lady who can’t quite sit up on her own yet.

And Abigail loves that with the stroller her Mama can see her feet and thus the walks are faster and more fun.  We love our daily walks and the fresh air that we get to breathe.

April 11, 2011

Bump in the Road

Abigail and I are dealing with another big bump in this road that we are on. Thankfully our wonderful public health nurse was able to come out and visit mid- day. Then when the going got tough this afternoon Josh was able to come home a little early to give me a hug and support. Josh will hopefully have time to update the blog with new pictures tomorrow.

April 8, 2011

Back To Work

In getting ready to help Josh out with a house project the other day I unpacked my carhartts.  I am so happy to say that after about 9 months they fit again great.  So with the carhartts on and Abigail snug in the Moby this mama is ready to get back to work.

April 7, 2011

Time Management

Shortly after Abigail was born my mother-in-law called to see if Josh and I would enjoy a subscription to TIME magazine for 2011. She had the opportunity at a subscription and thought that since I would be home with no TV, Internet or newspaper this would be a good way for me to keep up with what was going on in the world. I agreed that this would be a good idea and then didn’t think on it much again until the beginning of the new year when the first issue arrived.
The day it arrived I was interested, read an article and set the magazine next to the couch for further readings when I had time. But with a newborn there wasn’t much time to just relax with a magazine so there it sat for a few days. This was fine until the next week came and a second TIME magazine arrived. Why didn’t I realize that TIME magazine was a weekly subscription? I started to feel a little panicked. You see I am not someone who will just throw away a magazine without reading it. But how was I going to keep up with one magazine a week?

At this point Abigail was about a month old and I was reading Peter Rabbit and other small kids books to her while she nursed, since at that age one nursing could take up to a hour to complete. I realized that she didn’t really care about Peter Rabbit or other childish book characters as much as she cared about just hearing my voice. So I started to read TIME magazine to her instead. At 6 weeks old we read about gun control in Arizona, 7 weeks we read about the book Tiger Mom and so forth. This was great. I was reading the magazines, Abigail was hearing my voice, we were both learning about what was going on in the world and the magazines were not piling up. But then I went to Texas.

Since I have been home I have felt the intense need to catch up on TIME magazine. Not one to just throw out the back issues I haven’t gotten to read yet, I have found I need to read more than one, or even two, issues a week to get caught up. Then TIME magazine threw a double issue at me last week and oh boy, it was over a hundred pages long. Please keep in mind I also feel compelled to read each and ever article, briefing and review.

So here I sit, writing a blog post when I really should be reading TIME magazine but even with the “pressure” to stay caught up I am thankful. Thankful that for the first time in my life I really feel like I know about Republican presidential candidates, what is happening in the economy of the world, about health advances, book reviews, government leadership in countries around the world from the Ivory Coast to China and so much more. I know TIME doesn’t have it all right but honestly, who does? So thank you to Josh’s mom for giving us TIME for this year. If it all works out right the year will end and I will not have any sitting around but instead will have a mind full of knowledge of events and things that has occurred of 2011.

April 6, 2011

29 1/2 Years Later

The other day I dressed Abigail in this small sweater outfit.  And what fun I had doing so since my mother dressed me in this outfit 29 1/2 years ago.  Josh thought the outfit a little outdated but I thought it was great.  What fun to be sharing things with my daughter already and she is only 4 months old.  What fun we are going to have together in life.

April 5, 2011

Watching Snow Melt

Even though it is early April we are ready for spring.  But as ready as we are the weather does not always follow what we think it should do.
But with dreams of the garden days ahead we wanted to help mother nature out just a little bit by letting the snow on top of the garden melt a little faster.  So the other day Josh went out with the snow blower to remove as much as possible.
Now this area of the ground will hopefully warm and melt faster so that when the rest of the snow melts the garden will be ready just that much sooner.  Until then, we wait.

April 4, 2011

Abigail's Flowers

While visiting my mother in Texas Abigail fell in love with the picture of flowers my mother had over her changing area.
Each day she would touch them, talk to them and admire them.
So when we got home we decided we needed to give Abigail her own flowers.  I had an older weekly calendar book from National Geographic that I had held onto, why I don't know but it came in handy now.
So Abigail's flowers are smaller, not hung perfectly straight and do have a frayed edge compared to Grandma's but she loves them just the same!  And since these pictures were taken Abigail has managed to rip her flowers, so now she has a new picture to look at.  Good thing the calendar book has 52 weeks of option.

April 1, 2011

Home Is Where You Will Reach Me

As of today, April 1st, you can reach me at home if you want to chat. In the process of downsizing our lives to fit into our new budget I have given up my cell phone. Not an easy thing, amazing how a number assigned to me eight years ago can hold tight. But little Abigail and I are mostly home so this new plan should work out just fine. Main issue is that my home phone does not have a long distance plan so calls can come in just not out. Just one more step in this process of motherhood.

By the way, this is not an April fools joke. But I do hope your days are full of laughs and jokes today.

Tree Disaster of 2017

We had quite the tree drama this year.  After years and years of real trees from the woods I was done with the needles.  DONE.  Last year A...