July 29, 2011

Everything is a Toy

Abigail loves to play.  Everything around her can become a toy and when there is a toy around Abigail will play instead of eat or sleep.



That being said you can probably understand why earlier this week I had to take Abigail’s bumper pad out of her crib.



The fabric, ribbons and the fact that it could be used to climb on were all just too exciting.  Now Abigail’s crib looks very plain but I am hoping it might help our little active girl sleep just a bit more.  

July 28, 2011

Random Thoughts

The following are some things to remember and share from Abigail’s first summer and the age of 7 ½ month.

1.      Abigail still doesn’t like to eat pureed foods but loves anything she can hold and eat herself.  I love that so much of what she is eating these days comes from our garden.  Often in a day she will have zucchini, tomato, peas, green beans, roasted potatoes, moose steak and a whole lot more.  She will look over everything on her tray and specifically pick what she wants one at a time.
2.      She now babbles all the time.  When she really gets going her chubby cheeks shake, makes me laugh each time.  Her little teeth make her look so cute as well.
3.      She loves to watch and feed Shoeless Joe, so much so that they are now separated while she eats her meals or else the dog gets everything before she even tries it.  Feeding the dog makes her laugh so hard.
4.      She still isn’t crawling but can manage to move herself in the seated position.  We aren’t really sure how it happens but she is sitting in one place and before we know it she is sitting a few feet away.  Josh calls her a little traveling circus.
5.      Like her food Abigail likes to have control over her toys.  We don’t just give her a few anymore but instead give her the baskets full.  She will short through it all and pick out what she wants to play with.  It is funny to me that what she wants to play with changes throughout the day.  I love to watch the her face concentrate as she throws things out of her basket as she searches for just the right thing.
6.      Right now Josh and I just love how she smiles each time we talk to her, play with her or even look at her from across the room.  She is so very happy.  WE love how she sings to her food while in her highchair. 
7.      In addition to that, she loves her swing outside.  The higher we push her the more excited her laughs. 

Oh, our little girl we love you so much.  You are so much fun and bring us so much joy each day.

July 27, 2011

A Golden Day

Fairbanks has a week of celebrations right at the end of July each year to celebrate Golden days.  A time when the entire town gets together to celebrate our gold rush history, the first pioneers who came to Fairbanks, and the “golden heart” that the town still has.  



The week of celebrations covers a variety of activities and we decided to go enjoy the big parade over the weekend.  



It was a hot summer day and in finding our place to watch the picnic Josh had the idea of parking the truck in a way that we could sit in the back of it and have an elevated view of the activities, as well as a place for Abigail to play.



We watched dancers, bands, floats, old cars, politicians and so much more.  Abigail was able to play with my parents and after the parade we all walked to the firehouse for lunch.



It was a fun summer day for sure.

July 26, 2011

A Box From A Friend

Abigail’s best friend, Caroline, lives in Alabama.  And a friend of her mother’s, my friend Heather, gave Caroline a whole bunch of clothes to wear.  



As Heather and Caroline sorted through all of those great new clothes for Caroline to wear they decided that they wanted to share a few with Abigail.  You can imagine our joy and excitement at receiving such a big box in the mail the other day.



Abigail couldn’t wait to dig right in and see what there was.



It was full of things that fit now and a bunch of things that need to be saved for when Abigail is a little bigger.  Ballerina dresses, pants, shirts, tights, hats, dresses, jumpers and so much more.



Abigail was so excited but kept looking for Caroline in the box.  Because the only way this would have been more fun would have been in Caroline could have been here to share it all with Abigail. 



So thank you Caroline, and Heather, for being so generous and for giving us so many fun clothes to wear.  We love you both.

July 25, 2011

Pulling Up

Abigail gets more and more ambitions with her movement each day.
So much so that the other day I had to lower her crib mattress for the first time.  The sight of this little girl pulling herself up is a little overwhelming to see.  This picture was taken after the mattress was dropped. Therefore I am raising the crib side each time she goes to sleep now too.  Before we know it she is going to be running all over the place.  Time is going by just too fast!

July 22, 2011

A Beautiful Sight

It has been a lot of fun having my parents around and part of our lives this summer.
 My dad works in the evenings and so during the days he gets out and enjoys Fairbanks.  One of the things he has found is a great, local, source for tomatoes.  He picked me up about 8 pounds the other day and so Abigail and I went to work.
I diced, cooked, seasoned and prepared those 8 pounds into pizza sauce.  Around this house homemade pizza is a favorite.  In the oven, as a calzone and on the grill.  Josh loves it and when I make gluten free dough I love it too.  So the pizza sauce was a good choice for my first tomato canning for the year.
So thanks dad for the great tomatoes and knowledge of such a great source.  I have to say a pile of tomatoes on my counter is nice but jars of freshly canned homemade pizza sauce is a beautiful sight to see in deed!

July 21, 2011

New Tastes

Abigail is loving all of the tastes and textures of the new foods we are giving her these days.  The following movie shows how she loves rhubarb.
Our little lady still does not like pureed foods or having someone feed her but if it is finger foods that she can handle herself she is a fan.  
Yesterday she enjoyed some blueberries, tomato, cereal and turkey bacon at Popeye's apartment.  Yeah for second breakfast with Popeye.

July 20, 2011

The Extras

Along with all of the other things going on around here, Josh has been working on the extras for our deck.
 One such extra is the bracing for the main posts.  I love how he added a curve to the bracing, gives the deck more of a classy look, at least that is my opinion.
And the railing for the stairs is coming along as well.  As of now this is still only about 1/2 way done but what is done looks great.  
Each day when I walk up the driveway from my walk I love to see the house, deck, garden and all.  Who would have thought four years ago when we started this project things would look this great.

July 19, 2011

Garden Update

The fun part of the summer has arrived in the garden.  Each day that I do my walk through there are new things to discover and soon eat!
 Our broccoli is doing great.  I just hope that the heads get a little bigger before they flower.  Right now all 6 plants have good looking heads!
 Each year I plant something "new".  Something I haven't done before.  This year I planted celery, parsley and basil.  Of the three the celery and parsley are doing great.  I love the green color of the celery.  I just wonderful, when the larger outer stalks are going to grow or do they all have leaves?  Always having bought celery from the store my knowledge of how they grow is pretty limited.
This beauty I am super proud of.  Last year I grew cauliflower and it did terrible.  This year my plants are looking good and the cauliflower heads growing out of them look even better!
 And much to our delight the pea plants, that have been covered in blossoms, are starting to produce peas.  But they are hard to see, can you see the two big ones in this picture?
 I tried a few new varieties of tomatoes this year.  This one being the yellow canaries.  These are cherry tomatoes that turn yellow when rip and are super sweet.  I never thought I would be so happy to see yellow tomatoes, ha ha.
And last but not least, the best thing growing around these parts is this little girl.  She isn't crawling yet but is getting more and more mobile.  Enough so that we borrowed this pack n' play from a friend so that Abigail could play a little while I weeded and worked in the garden.  So far she isn't a fan but we are working on that, ha ha.

July 18, 2011

Planning For Winter With a Little Help

Last summer we had ten cords of wood delivered.  In addition to that, Josh was able to harvest around three cords from trail work being done on the military base.  All in all, we had a lot of wood that needed cut into rounds and split.  But as life goes, things have been busy.  Josh would work here and there on cutting the wood into rounds but with all the work on the house last summer, the deck this summer and a lot of hours at work, things weren't moving too fast.

 But Josh's dad, who has been working in Denali all summer, finished his construction job last week.  And instead of heading right home he headed north to our house.  He spent a day working with the chainsaw and was able to cut a lot of the long logs into rounds.  The next day Josh took off work and we rented a wood splitter.  My dad had the morning off work as well and joined in the wood fun as well.  These three guys worked hard and fast and plowed through all of the rounds that had been cut.
Abigail loved having both of her grandfathers around and enjoyed watching all of the work being done.  She even got in on the action by wearing her carhartt overalls.  This is a working girl in the making for sure.

July 15, 2011

Play

Abigail loves to play.  Her toys bring her so much joy and watching her enjoy it all makes us super happy as well.



 The other day was cold and rainy, the perfect recipe for inside play with daddy on the couch.


 Watching Josh play with Abigail is something that I never get tired of doing.  He has almost as much fun playing with her and her toys as she does with him and her toys.

And even though our little lady isn’t crawling yet, she has gotten the reach and wiggles down.  So much so that she took her first face plant off the recliner in our room the other day.  So now when Josh plays with Abigail on the couch he pushes both couches together and makes a sort of playpen/cradle for them to hang out in together.  Toys, time, father and daughter is the perfect recipe for a rainy day.

July 14, 2011

Dog Sitting

As I have mentioned earlier, we are dog sitting my parents' dog Shoeless Joe for the summer.  It is fun to have him around during the days to keep me company, to go on walks with me and to keep us laughing.  This little video will show the fun we just might have with the role of being a dog sitter.  

July 13, 2011

Garden Fresh

As the summer flies by it shocks me to realize that the middle of July is coming up on us in just a few days.  But summer is in full bloom around here and nothing says it better than our garden.

 The other day I was able to pick our first two zucchinis.

 It is so fun to finally see those zucchinis after so many months of watching our little plants grow from seed into big plants, growing blossoms and then the vegetables themselves.
And what makes the garden even more fun is sharing it with my cheerleader.  Yeah for fresh produce right outside our front door.

July 12, 2011

Exciting News

Abigail has very exciting news to share.  We thought this video might help say it best:
Humm, guess she was just a little quiet during the video but maybe you were able to figure out what she was trying to tell you anyway?  If not here is the news Abigail would tell you if she could get the words to come out:  I can chew and I can droll but it all has a purpose.  All my hard work of chewing everything in sight, keeping Mama up at night, and needing to be held a super lot the last few days have all paid off, I now have teeth.  They broke through the skin yesterday.   I am all super excited.  Now I just need  a car to go with those keys I have been chewing on but that might take a little while longer to come in!

July 11, 2011

Weekend adventure.

This summer's 'month of rain' lead me to realize that a project I have been neglecting cannot wait any longer.  The yard has been left untended for too long.  When it rains, like it has been for the last few weeks, the yard turns to a muddy slip-n-slide.  I have been wanting to resolve that issue for some time.   And now is that time.


This decision prompted a trip out Chena Hot Springs Road looking for rocks.  Not just any rocks though, I want large flat stones that can be used for a flagstone path.  Unfortunately the river is high, from all that rain we've been getting, and all those wonderful flat river stones I wanted to collect are under an extra 6 feet of water.  So we didn't get any rocks.  On the plus side, Kathleen and I have discovered that Abigail can only last for about 75 minutes in her car seat before she starts going crazy. But she loves crinkly bags. And fireweed.



July 8, 2011

Never Alone

The other day as I worked in the kitchen I looked around at my surroundings and realized, once again, how truly blessed I am.
No matter where I am or what I am doing, I have a supervisor making sure I am doing the best I can.  In this case the rattle, keys and toy block help my watcher determine if I am making daddy's pie just right. 
And now, in addition to my supervisor, I have a bus boy for the summer as well.  This guy can clean any mess and gets food out of the hard to reach places  for me.  I am truly blessed by all this help.

July 7, 2011

The Deck Days Of Summer

I have very exciting news to share!!  After many hours the deck is done, well mostly.
Even though there are still stair rails to install, some bracing and such, the deck is done enough to enjoy and to house a grill.
 We are enjoying hours upon hours of deck time these days.  Even when it rains we sit in the small covered area by the arctic entry.  The height of the deck above the ground also helps us out since there are so many less mosquitos compared to ground level.
And to go with our wonderful new deck we have a beautiful new grill.  In celebration we have eaten almost every meal cooked off of our new grill.  The taste and flavor has been amazing.
So if you are looking for us in the days to come you don't need to look far, just take a look on our new deck and patio set.  Feel free to join us at any time and I am sure you will agree, it is the best place in town to be.

July 6, 2011

The Tumor

In every family there are small, and often random, things that no one else quite understands but if you are part of that family, you will find it hilarious.  One such thing in our family was my dad's tumor.  Not a horrible, cancerous such tumor but instead the neck pillow full of buck wheat.  You see growing up my father fell in love with his neck pillow.  It was great when he would take his afternoon nap in his recliner.  But he often found it too tiring to take the pillow off when he got up and so we would see him walking around the house with the neck pillow laying on his neck until he sat down again and could use it to support his neck in slumber once again.
 For awhile there the neck pillow went into hiding so you can imagine my surprise when I was at their apartment the other day and saw dad's "tumor" on the couch.  I laughed that the silly tumor has made it's way from New York to Texas and now to Alaska.  Abigail wanted to see what all the fuss was about so her Popeye let her try it out.
But soon realizing she couldn't understand the benefits of the tumor until she sat on her own and read the paper just like Popeye.  Over all she agrees with here Mama in not really understanding the lure of the pillow and thinks it is a funny thing to laugh at.  But thanks Popeye for letting us try it anyway.

July 4, 2011

The Fourth with Family

Abigail's 4th of July was very monumental.
Josh's parents were in town for the weekend and, with my parents
here for the summer, Abigail was blessed with all 4 grandparents for the day.
Even with so many cameras around, I just don't have a picture to share today.
My mother does.
You can click on here to read about Abigail's 4th of July.


Clean Up On Aisle Three

When my parents decided to both come up to Alaska for the summer they had to figure out just what to do with their springer spaniel, Shoeless Joe.  Since I am home all day we decided that he could stay with us.  He is super gentle and gets along great with Zeke and with Abigail. 
I find it great fun that Shoeless has arrived about the same time that Abigail has started solid foods.  Abigail is learning how much fun it is to throw food off of her tray and watch it get eaten up.  Now if only I could figure out how to keep my floors clean from all this activity it would be a perfect situation.

July 1, 2011

Visiting Popeye

As I stated earlier this week, my parents are in Fairbanks for the summer.  But unlike previous years, my mother didn't come alone but brought my father along for the adventure.  As my mother works in the hospital my dad has taken a job with Princess as a waiter.
We are so excited for him that we had to go see just how he is doing.  So we dressed up and took Abigail out for her first meal in a nice restaurant.
Our waiter was so very nice and kind to us.  Especially when the a water glass was set too close to the baby and ended up being thrown off the table.  He wasn't mad at all.
It was such a fun evening, great meal, fun to see dad in his new role, and a summer adventure.

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