October 31, 2012

The Day for Dress-Up

Last year Abigail and I were in New Jersey with my sister and her husband for Halloween.
 While we were there we went to a halloween party.  Because of this event I bought Abigail a ladybug costume, and she looked super cute.
Well, in preparation for a party last weekend I was sorting through what we had and came across the ladybug costume in storage.  Even though Abigail is a year older, and a little taller, the costume still fit.  So my spunky little girl got the chance to be a ladybug once again.  Now that she is more grown up and has a strong opinion on things the hood was a no go but that was ok.  Ethan got to join in the mix and was a fuzzy pumpkin for the day too.  Josh and I don't get into the dress up mode but it is fun to let our kids do that for us.  Hope you all have a fun Halloween.

October 30, 2012

The Drawer

When Josh built our wall of doors in the basement there was an open space on the bottom left that didn't have a purpose.
 To fill it in, and make it useful, Josh made a drawer for that area.  It is a big drawer, deep and wide.  We have actually had a lot of conversations regarding this drawer.  What would this drawer hold?  I thought it would fit blankets perfectly for when we made the basement a tv/family room.  Josh thought it would be great at holding our bigger winter gear like snow pants.  Oh the possibilities.  Well, the decision was made for us later in the summer with the arrival of a wonderful box from Texas.
 Abigail's cousin Gigi is growing up.  As she grows she realized that she had some dress up clothes that she just didn't use any more.  So she and her mother sweetly thought of Abigail.  They boxed them up and sent them north.  The perfect contents for Josh's new drawer.
Abigail loves all of the wonderful dresses, costumes, pom poms and ruffles.  This drawer will be put to good use for sure.  Every day Abigail runs to the drawer saying dress, dress.  Thank you Gigi and Aunt Kelly for helping fill our days with dreams, twirls and colorful imagination!   


October 29, 2012

For The Winter Ahead

With winter upon us we have started to settle in.  We are an outdoorsy type of family and for all of the spring, summer and fall months that is where we have been.  In the winter we love the outdoors as well but with young kids, the amount of time outside is limited.
Thus the transformation in our basement is perfect.  What was Josh's work shop just last year has been made into what a family with an active toddler needs, space to run.  Someday this basement will be a family room with couches and such but for now what it needs is space.  And space it got.  Abigail's toys are set up, her swing from outside was brought in and with the wood stove downstairs this area is warm and ready for the winter months ahead.  

October 26, 2012

Custom Fit

For Abigail's baby shower we were gifted a membership to the Walmart photo place.  This was a great gift, and a good idea if you need one in the future, since the membership offers a lot of great deals to us throughout the year on photos.  Thus we have gone as a family a lot to have pictures take and keep up on all the changes that are going on as our family grows.
 Just before Ethan was born we went to have our picture taken one last time as a family of three.  While there they had a deal on a free 10x30 picture.  A unique size but fun to get.  Once we got it home we realized it was a good enough picture to hang up, but now we needed the frame.  Josh, being who he is, had no problem with this and set right to work. 
I think t turned out great.  The only thing missing is Ethan (he was there, just not visible), but I am sure another sale will come alone soon.  With Josh able to build us frames for uniquely sized pictures, anything will do. 

October 25, 2012

The Crazy Things We Do

I keep a small camera in my purse for when we are out and about.  I don't often download pictures from this camera though because of it being in my purse.  When I finally do, like I did the other day, I find it full of memories and events that stretch back weeks and months from now.  I laughed at some of the fun things I saw.  Things I did with my mother when she was visiting this summer.
Fun firsts for Abigail, like her very own ice cream cone.  Why we chose to give it to her when she was sitting all alone in the back seat of a car, well only my mother would know that.  Something about being a grandma makes her a lot more bold when it comes to things like this than I am.
Grandma also introduced Abigail to the world of steamers.  Mother had an appointment in town once a week and we often joined her.  Abigail and I would walk around downtown when mother was at her appointment and then afterwards when we were together again, Mother would buy a steamer.  Well, this started to become Abigail's favorite part of the day. She would gladly help Grandma finish off the last of the cooled milk and often ask for more.  The last week before Grandma left she bough Abigail her very own steamer, this girl was very pleased.  I am not as generous with these in town splurges, goes back to being the mama instead of the grandma thing again, but it doesn't stop Abigail from asking for them.  What a fun memory.
The last night mother and I were together we took a run to Fred's for me to pick up some groceries.  While carrying Ethan around the store mother found this good deal on little beds and thought it fun to see how our big, little, baby would fit.  

Call us crazy but these are just some of the things we do.

October 24, 2012

Outfitting My Helper

I have been saying for months now that I needed to sew Abigail an apron.
Well, the other day the chance came for me to do just that.  With something so small I was able to use fabric from my stash (the pocket and fringe is fabric from Abigail's bumper pads).  I presented it to Abigail as we were getting ready to make Josh cookies.  She was so excited.  You will probably see it on her a lot in the days to come.  She especially loves her "pocky" that can hold small toys and refrigerator magnets as she runs around the house.  It is so much fun sewing for my girl, I am not sure which one of us is happier.  

October 23, 2012

LIfe

Sometimes you have those busy days.  Days with an active toddler and a cuddly infant.  Days that don't allow for much computer time.  

Sorry for no big post today.  Another one will be up tomorrow.  But for today I am going to work on managing this busy life of mine.

October 22, 2012

Once You Learn, Teach

You can always tell what Abigail is learning to do by watching what she teaches her dollies.
So what this doll is doing just gives you a glimpse of what our big girl has learned to do over this past week.
I am happy to report that day time potty training has been a huge success in this house.  The past week has been full of patience, hand washing, patience, skittles, patience and shouts of praise as Abigail picked right up on what she was supposed to do.  Abigail loves to teach others what she has learned, every doll and animal has had the chance to try out the potty recently.  I wouldn't be surprised if Ethan is trying out the potty soon too.  Well, maybe we should work on just rolling over first, but I am sure, left up to Abigail, he will learn a lot.

October 19, 2012

Calling All The Little People

The other day, while cleaning in the closet, Abigail found a present I had for her.  This beauty was found at a garage sale and is perfect for these winter days were we are inside for many hours. (please don't mind that she isn't wearing pants, we are deep into potty training around these parts).
 Well, this car has brought Abigail, me and her small toys hours of fun.  Anyone small (big bird, little baby, baba, elmo, little bear, ragged ann and more) have had the pleasure of going for a ride.  
We might be the only house around that has a barbie car but no barbie.  For us that works just fine, just don't let barbie know.

October 18, 2012

The Tomato Story

I know I have mentioned that we have a few tomatoes, but folks, it is worth mentioning again.
 Because around this house we have quite a few tomatoes.
 And these beautiful tomatoes, that had to be picked off their vines before they were ready, are turning red fast and completely in our sunny kitchen.  So fast indeed that it was time for me to do something with our tomato crop, besides eating as many as I could each and every day.
 So I got to canning and thus had quite the day.  I experienced a first for me and my kitchen.  While canning a batch of tomatoes one of the jar's had its lid explode off.  This lid caused the lid to my hot water bath to fly across the kitchen and proceeded to fling bits of tomato all over my kitchen.  This picture was taken fast and about 1/2 way through the cleaning process but it can give you a little bit of an idea of what I was dealing with.  I had tomatoes up the cabinets, to the fridge, across the floor to the sink and in more cracks than you could ever imagine.  Oh boy.  The thing is I was having a really bad day before this happened so as I was cleaning the floors all I could do was laugh.
But regardless of the unexpected drama, at the end of the day I had a very clean kitchen, a batch of pasta sauce and a batch of just tomatoes (used later for tomato soups).  The plan was to can more but after cleaning for so very long the rest of the red tomatoes stayed whole.  We are still eating a lot, frequently, and there will be a need to make a pot of fresh tomato soup in a few days.  All in all I learned that sometimes a pot that explodes is all that is needed to help remind me how what I thought was bad, really wasn't that big of a deal after all.

October 17, 2012

Sweet Dreams

The problem with being a little brother to a very active sister is that life isn't often calm and relaxing.  Ethan often wakes up as soon as Abigail goes down for her nap or to bed at night.  I understand this, our little man needs some one on one time with his Mama.
 Since Abigail loves all things "Ethan" we don't use his activity mat at all when she is awake.  But nap times are a great time when he and I hang out and look at the fun toys together.  Well, the other day I guess my company, and that of his little turtle he was talking too, got a little bit boring and he fell asleep.
To me though, looking at this beautiful face is never boring.  Sweet dreams little man.

October 16, 2012

Just Her Size

With winter here, and Josh's woodshop now in the shed, not too many more woodworking projects are going to be completed this year.  But the other day Josh did take the time, and brave the cold, to finish up a special request.
 He worked on building Abigail her very own little refrigerator.  You see these parents of her's really wants her to have her very own play kitchen and this was the first step.
 With a freezer on top, fridge on the bottom, shelves for foods and lots of room to grow into this toy, Josh presented this to Abigail.  Ever since there has been many hours of play and imagination that has come from this work of art.  Josh has also been finishing up a few things as well to help add to her "kitchen" but those will be a post for a later day.
And as she plays, her brother grows.  The way these days seem to be flying by it won't be long before the kitchen will be host to two children with big imaginations and hours of fun.

October 15, 2012

Birdies

Abigail loves animals.  I know this probably is true for most toddlers but it is such a strong passion of Abigail's.  Meeting friendly dogs, feeding the ducks, or watching a moose wander across our yard are all big events and ones that make our girl very happy.  Another animal Abigail loves are birds.  Ravens and Grey Jays are what we mostly see on our walks but no matter what type of bird it is, it is a favorite.  
Thus recently we got our little bird watcher her very own bird feeder.  Using sunflower seeds I have had from our friend Julia, thanks so much Julia, we have had flocks of chickadees filling our deck.  Now that snow has arrived in Fairbanks the little birds must be telling their friends where the seeds are because we seem to get more every day.  They love the feeder and sitting on the wires on the deck.  How fun it is to have nature come right up to the deck for us to see and admire.

October 12, 2012

Grown-up Eating

Feeding Abigail has never been an easy task.  Her father and I love to eat so I have never fully understood this resistance to almost everything we give her.  This resistance has lead me to really work, daily, at my attitude towards feeding Abigail and finding a balance between getting food into her and letting her decide how much to eat.
A recent week of food protesting lead me reevaluate our situation to see what needed to be changed to encourage Abigail to start eating again.  Since Abigail had been fighting against her high chair, I thought that would be a good place to start.  We are lucky enough to have a high chair that adjusts in height, and so with the tray removed Abigail can slide right up to the table.   With her plate, fork, and spoon she looks so grown up eating with us.  
In search of a placemat I can across one I had from my childhood.  Abigail loves it but has a hard time covering up the picture of the pretty birds.  As for the eating, this new eating arrangement has really helped.  What a difference a little change can bring! 

October 11, 2012

1 and 22

With Abigail and Ethan's monthly birthdays only a few days apart I thought it would be good to just do their monthly updates in the same blog post.

This post talks a little about what they are both up to right now.

Ethan - Month 1
As of October 9th, Ethan weighed in at 11 lbs 4.5 oz.  Oh yeah, we have a big boy on our hands.  Just for a little perspective, 0-3 month clothing usually fits babies up to 12 pounds.  Thus we are already pushing the limits on our 3 month clothing at the one month mark.  
 Ethan continues to be an easy, laid back baby.  He nurses well and besides eating, his main love is being held.  Since Ethan was born we have had help at the house with my mother and then Josh's mother.  The result of these the two things means that Ethan has joined Josh and me on several "dates plus one."  It has been a fun time for all.  
 Developmentally Ethan keeps us on our toes.  He loves to laugh, smile, coo and does a great job holding his head up.  How is my baby boy growing up so fast and is no longer a new born before I am ready.

Abigail - 22 months.

Our little girl keeps us on our toes each and every day.  She is full of energy and is so fun.  Her speech has really taken off this month.  She now will talk in sentences but unfortunately when she goes off on her long monologs they aren't in english.  Makes us laugh none the less.
 She is growing so much, as you saw in yesterday's post, but is still a little itty bitty girl.  You can see this from this picture.  Her pretty dress coat that she worn all last winter to church still fits.  I couldn't believe this but it is true.
And no matter what her physical size is she has a huge personality.  She knows her mind and sets out to do what she knows with all of her will.  For instance, in this picture she has decided that she doesn't want to wear her gloves, which I finally found, yeah.  So far I am still fighting this battle but as winter gets closer and closer it is one this mama is going to have to win.  Oh the trials of being almost two and living in a cold climate...

I have my hands full for sure with these two.  The days with them fly by and I can't wait to see what the next month bring to our home.  

October 10, 2012

A Year of Growth

The other day Abigail and I headed out to clean out the garden for the year.
 As we pulled the last of the plants, bagged up the black plastic and stirred up the soil I kept thinking about last year.
 And how my little gardening companion wasn't even walking a year ago but still had just as much fun playing in the dirt with me.
 I looked at the way my girl is now tromping around the garden in her mud boots, opening and closing the doors to the greenhouse and loves running with the wind in her hair.
They do say that good vegetables help you grow big and strong.  I would say in this case that is very true.  Only time will tell what this next year will bring.

October 9, 2012

A Day WIth The Ducks

While I was working for DNR I remember one day in particular when my friend Heather gave me a call.  She called to tell me that since it was so nice out she was going to take her grad school work to the park and feed the ducks.  She asked if I could join her.  As I looked around my cubical at all the work I had to do, and realized as well that I was AT WORK, I had to say no.  But that phone call and day has stuck with me since.
 Ever since then I have looked forward to the time when it as a nice day out and I would be free to go to the park and feed the ducks.  Last winter when it was so cold and we were shut in the house I looked forward to sharing that day with Abigail.  Then I got hurt in the spring and the day for the ducks got moved further and further into the future.
 Well, a few weeks ago I realized the summer was passing us by and we needed to go feed the ducks soon or we would loose our chance.
 So a few weeks back we packed up and headed to the park and what a fun time we had.  We had so very much fun that we have gone back and back and back frequently in the past few weeks.  Why oh why did we not do this sooner?
 We have brought moldy hot dog buns, stale cornbread, hard ends of french bread and I have made many batches of popcorn to take as well.  We have gone with my mother, Josh, with Josh's mother and by ourselves as well.  Each time we have so very much fun.  Abigail has gotten really good at throwing the food we bring, at crumpling the bread before she throws it and has come very close to touching the ducks as they flock around her for the treats.
Abigail loves that as soon as we show up the ducks come from all corners of the park and river to see her.  The funny thing is that whenever we now eat bread, hamburger buns or hot dog buns with dinner she insists that it is for the ducks.  As a child my siblings and I wanted to send our food to the poor children in Africa.  Well in our house I guess we are set to feed the poor ducks of Fairbanks.   

October 8, 2012

A Project For Me

Most of the time that I talk about painting/wood projects on the blog they are Josh's.  But recently I got to work on one of my projects, and it was fun.
 It started with an idea I had for two old picture frames we have had for many, many years.
 If you remember Josh painted our new shoe rack and bench blue.  I thought if I was going to put these frames up around the basement the blue would be a good pictures to pick since it would spread the color around the room a bit.  
 Once I painted both of the frames I went on to paint the plywood Josh cut for me with chalkboard paint.  I had heard, and seen, the idea of using chalkboard paint for awhile now and was excited to give it a try for myself.  Once they were put together I thought they looked great but the big test was still to come.
We put these two frames to test by letting Abigail have a go at them.  The big frame will be for her and the small one will go over the phone for notes and messages.  As for the test, this project passed with flying colors.  I love the idea that Abigail can draw on the board but the chalk doesn't draw well on other things in the house and if it does get on things it washes off well, perfect.

October 5, 2012

Saving What We Can

Something about the first snow that sticks with you, even if the first snow melts off by lunch time.
 The morning when you wake up and the world, that has turned gray from all the leaves being gone, suddenly starts to turn white.  Whenever we get the first snowy day I bake cookies but a night time frost doesn't get such attention.  Instead it means we get a slight wake up call to makes sure the yard is cleaned, winter tires are on the cars, fire wood is ready for burning and that our snow gear is unpacked from storage.
 This year it also meant that special attention needed to be paid to the greenhouse.  You see the night it actually snowed the greenhouse was ok since it was cloudy.  The following night wasn't so lucky.  A full moon and clear skies might be perfect for watching northern lights but not so perfect for keeping the temperatures close to or above freezing.
 In an attempt to keep our greenhouse above freezing we put our little portable heater inside and set a timer up.  The plan was a hour on, three hours off.  If the temperatures didn't get too low this system should have worked.
 With the heater set into place we gave our tomatoes a small pep talk about staying warm and headed inside.  A hour later we took a quick look at the thermometer and we sad to see our grand plan was not working well enough.  The outside temperature was just too low that our little heater couldn't warm our big greenhouse up enough.
So our evening plans changed quickly.  Instead of staying inside, being warm and having a relaxing evening Josh and I put on coats and head lamps and headed out.  We aren't exactly sure how our many buckets of green tomatoes are going to do and just how many are going to turn red inside the house, but it was worth it.  Even if a 1/3 of our late night harvest changes to red we will be in good shape.  But until that day, I am doing a lot of google searches on things to make with green tomatoes.

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...