May 31, 2011

Getting Rid of Germs

Earlier this month Josh went on a Men’s retreat for a few days and came home sick.  Abigail and I boosted our vitamin C intake, rest and fresh air and managed to resist the germs for about a week before they took us both down.  But since then we have started feeling better and are getting our energy and schedule back.  As the days go by, even though we are feeling better, Abigail has had trouble shaking all of the nasal congestion.



And even though I have been keeping things clean I realized we had to go to extreme measures to try and get rid of the last of these cold germs.  Our little lady loves to put everything in her mouth.  So this mama went through house, diaper bag, stroller toys and everything was hand scrubbed and run through the dishwasher.



Abigail was very confused where all her toys went but still managed to find some fun in the empty holes of her exersaucer as I scrubbed all of the non-removable surfaces.



After Abigail woke up from her nap her toys had been cleaned, dried and were back where they belong free of all those old cold germs.



And we were all super happy once again.

May 30, 2011

An Extra Day

No big post today as we are at home, all together, celebrating this extra day of being a family. I have to say, I would just love it if all of Josh's weekends were three days long. But since they aren't I will just get back to enjoying this one! Happy Memorial Day to you all.

May 27, 2011

Warm Nights and Prayers for Growth

The evenings around here aren’t freezing any more.  This one fact means a lot of dirt, work and hopes for tomorrow as the garden was started.



With Josh’s mom here to help me watch Abigail I was able to get the plant starts and seeds in the ground.  Honestly, in the week since they have gone in things aren’t looking too good but there are still months ahead of us for that to change.



And I am not the only one to be excited about being outside in the dirt once again.  Zeke has loved his time outside each day.   This is bound to be one fun summer.  Now we just need the seeds and plants to grow!

May 26, 2011

What’s For Dinner?

As summer finally arrives to Fairbanks Abigail gets more and more excited that her 6th month birthday is coming up.  With the arrival of six months comes the start of solids foods.  Up until now Abigail has enjoyed a few of this or that I mash up on my finger but she is getting ready for the real stuff.  Thus you can imagine her delight when a big box came from her Grandma in Texas.



And in this box Grandma sent what our little girl needs to be outfitted for the big people’s table.  Abigail was super excited about plastic plates, bibs, bowls, sippy cups and spoons.



Thanks Grandma for all of my great gifts.  The food is going to taste better on special dishes from you!  I can’t wait.

May 25, 2011

Fairbanks Free Market

Fairbanks hosted a great event last year called a Free Market.  A market in a parking lot where people bring what they want to get rid of and you take what you want, no money exchanged.  It was such a success last year that they had one again this past weekend.  For weeks I have been going through boxes, bins, closets and such putting together what we would contribute to the market.  Then on Saturday Josh and I went to find what we could find.  (Josh’s mother stayed home with Abigail, thanks again mom!)



And just like last year, we found treasures.  The big thing for Abigail was this outdoor play yard.  



Even though she is still a little small for it now it will be great to have inside this winter and outside next summer when our little girl is running, climbing and needing more adventure.



With this house, along with some garden hoses, clothes for Abigail and me, a few books and some odds and ends the Free Market was a great success.  Looking forward to the next one!

May 24, 2011

Careful Not To Dye The Kitchen Purple

There are many treasures that come from living in Alaska.  The berries that grow wild around our home that are so very good for us is just one of many.  In our yard we have high bush cranberries that fill the air with sweetness each fall and across the street there are patches upon patches of blueberries.  



Alaskan blueberries are unlike blueberries that are found in the lower 48.  They are very small and even though they are sweet they taste more tart than the big plump blueberries you buy at the store.  They are also very rich in color.  Touching blueberries can make your hands, counter, mixing bowls and such a bluish purple for days.  But these little berries are amazingly good for you.  Just a small amount can account for all the antioxidants you need for a day.  Josh loves to pick these berries and so our freezer was full of some from last year.



Blueberry season for this year is not that far off and I wanted to make sure we had used the older blueberries for a project before we went out to pick a new batch.  With Josh’s mom here to help me out we decided to spend one morning making all of the 2010 blueberries into blueberry syrup.  



And as we worked I just couldn’t get over the color.  It is the most beautiful, deep purple you have seen.  After over 4 hours of work we had 3 quarts, 9 pints and 28 ½ pints of syrup processed.  I think we are good for a little while.  What a fun experience it was to make.



And what did your little girl do during those four hours?  She rode in the Ergo as we set things out, took a great nap as the syrup was made, and played in the kitchen as the hot water bath worked away sealing the jars.  What a wonderful little kitchen helper she was!

May 23, 2011

A Visit from Grammie

Last Monday Josh’s mother arrived in Fairbanks for a visit with Abigail.



They had so much fun together.  They read books


Hung out in town while this Mama had her teeth cleaned at the dentist



They talked and shared great stories



And overall had a wonderful time being together.  Abigail just loved having a playmate to hang out with each day as she learned new things.  Abigail has decided that since Grammie left things are not as much fun.  Come back soon to play Grammie!!

May 20, 2011

The Start of A Playgroud

The other day Josh worked on a little outdoor project for Abigail.



He created a frame to hold her outdoor swing.  And she just loves it.  The warm sun, wind on her face and her parents cheering her along as she discovers something new.



What a wonderful start to all the playground things her dad plans on making for her as she grows.

May 19, 2011

Big Enough To Fit

We have two baby carriers in our house, the Moby and the Ergo.  Both are wonderful and at least one, if not both are used daily around here.  But up until recently whenever we wanted to use the Ergo carrier Abigail had to be in the infant insert.



You can see the insert in this picture of Josh from when we were in Texas a few months ago.  It worked well but was bulky and often made the carrier very warm.  So you can imagine my joy the other day when I tried Abigail in the carrier without the insert and she fit like a glove.



So much easier to put her in and pull her out and she loves it.  And like most products this ergo carrier has a lot of accessories that you can purchase with it.  But besides the infant insert we decided long ago that we didn’t need anything else, which is until I started carrying Abigail without the insert.  You see the ergo brand has these things call soak pads that you can put on the arm straps that let you easily wash what your baby sucks on and drools on.  When we were using the insert this wasn’t an issue because Abigail was not close enough to the straps to suck on them.  Well, last week I realized just how handy this accessory would be.



So I made some myself.  With an old towel and Velcro and Abigail is now the proud owner of soak pads for her Ergo.  And there was joy at the Klynstra home.

May 18, 2011

Time To Harden

Finally, after weeks of watching my plants grow larger and larger it is time to start hardening them up for their new home in the garden.



The weather the past few days have been wonderful.  Over the weekend Josh was able to get us a load of compost and we have worked at mixing that into all of our raised beds.  I have planted some seeds but these plant starts will need just a few more days of nights inside at the chance of a freeze is still possible.



But with the plants outside my inside is starting to look a little normal once again.  After two and a half months of dirt, leaves, the big table and plastic on the floor it is nice to get part of our living space back again.  Loving the feel of dirt on my hands once again the promise that soon, these plants will be in the ground.

May 17, 2011

A Celebration, Family Style

Last Friday Josh and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary.  And like most people on their anniversaries, we wanted to celebrate.



But this year was a little different.  This year we didn’t celebrate with a big trip out or big restaurant dinner, this year we celebrated as a family.



We took advantage of the Fairbanks spring weather to play a game of Frisbee golf and have a picnic dinner.



The picnic was full of some of our favorites and although Abigail isn’t eating solids these days she does think that deviled eggs are pretty.



Some might not think our anniversary celebration all that romantic or note worth but we disagree.  There will be years from now that we are able to go off on our own but right now we are a family of three after five years.  That is celebration enough for now.

May 16, 2011

Making A Day Great


The other day was a hard one for this Mama.  I spoke with Josh on the phone earlier in the day and I had talked to him briefly about my frustrations.  We hung up and both went on about our own workdays.  But Josh remembered and later that night after I had put Abigail down for the night I went downstairs and discovered this surprise.


A little gift from my husband to pick me up; encourage me, and to know I am loved.  And just like that, a hard day became one I will remember with joy.

May 13, 2011

Five Years




Today marks a very special day for Josh and me.  Five years ago today we started this little Klynstra family here in Fairbanks with all of our friends and family surrounding us and supporting us.  And was an adventure those five years have already been.





The things we have done together


The places we have traveled to together


And the changes we have experienced together have all been amazing.



I love you Joshua, I am so happy we are a team, best friends and in this life together.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us next.

May 12, 2011

A World Of Discoveries

At Abigail’s current age every single thing around her is amazing.  The other day I was finishing come corn chips with my lunch and she was just so very excited to hear the bag crinkle.



So I cleaned out the bag and gave it to her for further inspection.



She licked it, shook it, smashed it, gummed it and gave it a great overall inspection.



And decided that yes indeed, this was by far the best discovery of the day.  Can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

May 11, 2011

The Reason For Vaulted Ceilings



Sometimes when you build a house you do things for one reason but later discover all the hidden benefits of that decision that you originally didn’t even know were possible.  One such thing in our house is our vaulted ceiling in the great room.  Abigail and daddy find great joy in this high ceiling almost daily!  Enjoy this very short little video to see what I mean.

video

May 10, 2011

Weekly Happenings

A lot has been happening around here recently.



We attended a going away party for our friend Julia.  She is heading to Utah to graduate school.  We are going to miss her so very much but know we will see her again, hopefully soon.



This little lady keeps growing and on May 6th we went by our friend Laura’s office at the Public Health building for a 5-month weight and length check.  As of last week Abigail weighed 16 lbs 3 oz and is now 26 inches long.  That is 1 lb 6 oz and 1½ inches of growth in one month.  Those stats also put her in the 75-90% for babies her age.  With all of problems we went through this past month with breastfeeding it makes this Mama’s heart feel good to know that she is for sure getting the nourishment she has needed. 



Recently my mother has been sorting through things in her home in Texas.  And as a result of those of those organizing days, we received a very full media rate box full of books.  



It contained devotional books, household books and fun baby board books for Abigail (since her cousins in Texas have outgrown them just a little). 



It was so fun to open the box and discover all of the new treasures inside.  After a quick read through of the books Abigail gave them a quick taste and proclaimed that yes indeed, these new books were a wonderful addition to our family library.  Thank you mother.

May 9, 2011

Mother’s Day 2011

Yesterday marked a new first for me.  It was the chance to celebrate Mother’s Day as a new mother.  What a wonderful day indeed.



My mother bought me daisies to brighten my day and Josh gave me a beautiful new vase/pitcher that I had been admiring.  Add those with cards from those that love us, it was a wonderful start to the day.



And even though it was Mother’s Day, Abigail still didn’t want to sit through church.  Maybe that will be my gift from her next year.  So even though we were in the nursing room for the morning, she did look cute in the new outfit our friend Linda Mason sewed for her and in her new Sunday shoes from Aunt Hillary.  


But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what gifts I received or what we did.  The best part of my day, and my every single day for the past 5 months, is being this little girl’s mother.  Through the fussy times, the happy times, daytime and night, she brings me such great joy.  I am so thankful for how she has made my life, and Josh’s life, so very full.

May 6, 2011

Staying in the Budget, Even if it is Messy

I have written before about how I use a food calendar to plan out dinners.  It helps me figure out just what I have in my pantry, what ingredients I need from the store and thus helps me stay within our food budget.  But as you can see, the process is not always cut and dry, or neat.


Maybe I should start working on my calendar in pencil, but for now this works.  Good thing I am the only one that needs to read the writing.

May 5, 2011

Random Thoughts



1.      These days I am thankful that I have short hair.  Abigail has been reaching for things for a while now but recently she has been grabbing as well as the reaching.  So when I hold her, Abigail reaches for the laundry basket, utensil, paper, water glass, or whatever I am holding in my hands.  And when my hands are only being used to hold her she likes to grab my clothes, bottom lip, glasses and my hair.  Thus, making me glad my hair is short right now.  Less to grab and it doesn’t really hurt since it is close to my head.  The day will come when I will grow my hair out again but thankfully it isn’t right now.

2.      As the days warm up more and more of the snow is melting.   The other day on our walk we actually got caught in a small rainstorm.  We are able to now mark being in the rain as another first for Abigail.  Hopefully she comes to love it as much as her mother does.

3.       Josh went to the local asian store this week.  Not sure why we haven’t gone earlier.  Found a great deal on curry paste and thai food ingredients.  Made us both super excited about the future meals to come from this great find.

4.      We used a coupon from Sears to get a family photo taken over the weekend.  It came out great.  Super easy to get a good picture with such a smiley girl.  From start to finish the photos only took about 15 minutes.  Great news for parents of a small one.

5.      On that note, Abigail is 5 months old today.  How the time has gone already. 

May 4, 2011

Growing Strong

A lot of things are growing around here.  On that list are, the plants for the garden (I can not wait to get those in the ground), the length of the days (it isn’t pitch black in the middle of the night when I nurse the baby) and of course the main thing growing around here is our little girl.



She is growing so much that last week I had to increase the size of her cloth diapers.  I would love to show you the snaps and how they are in a different location but as you can see, Abigail loves her feet.  And as soon as she is on her changing table those feet are in her hands.  It is so much fun to have toys to play with anytime you want and no one can ever take them away.