November 30, 2012

Helper

I mostly love that Abigail is my helper.  

She loves to cook.  At random parts of each day she will yell, Cook, and run to the pantry for her apron.  Anna her baby doll also has an apron that was modified from raggedy Ann's pinafore and so she too often joins in the fun.  When we cook together Abigail loves to do the stirring.  She is also really good at helping me add ingredients to a bowl.  Josh has been blessed recently with more pies, cookies, and puddings as Abigail and I find things to cook together. 
Abigail also loves to help me clean.  She is really good a wielding the toilet bowl brush, wiping things down with a dust rag and helping me scrub the shelves in the refrigerator.  

I find the days when she and I are having trouble messing are often days when I just want to "get things done."  I get easily frustrated with a little girl following me around and she gets frustrated that she can't find her place.  The lesson in having Abigail help me and teaching her how things are done is one I work at each day.  She loves to be there with me, helping and feeling that sense of accomplishment.  As  she asked to help me pick out sweet potatoes the other day while shopping I smiled.  Yes, I do have a helper, how very lucky am I.

November 29, 2012

Bath Time

Abigail still takes baths in our kitchen sink, we love that we have a big sink!
And because she bathes there, so must her toys.
Abigail playing in water is a wonderful activity and keeps her happy for a half hour or more when we get going at it.
And even though this play results in a lot of water on the floor, I am pleased to find new fun and exciting things to do with Abigail on these long winter days.


November 28, 2012

Evening Fun

In the evenings there is the feeling of coming in.  All the events of the day end with us together, upstairs, playing, kicking, laughing and working out the kinks the day brought.  Hope you enjoy these two little videos from the end of a normal old day.
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November 27, 2012

Renewed Interest

Ethan has been doing so well at growing and becoming strong.
 He can hold his head up so well that Josh tried him out in the ultra saucer the other day.  Of course he wasn't in there too long but his first experience was fun.
 Abigail has a really hard time watching her brother start to enjoy toys.  Even if the toys he is interested in are ones that she is too old for once he takes a look at it she is all for it!  Thus she just had to give the ultra saucer a try once Ethan was done.
Oh my girl, you might not remember but there was a time when this toy was 100% yours.  Where did those days go?

November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 was a busy and wonderful one here at the Klynstra's home.
In review:
 The morning was full of cooking, cleaning and one little girl having her snack at the "big" table all the while wondering what in the world was going on.
 Then the table was set, guests arrived and food was shared.
 After the clean up happened, dessert was eaten slowly and leisurely as conversation was enjoyed.
And at last a family pictures was taken.  It was a wonderful day, so much to be thankful for!

November 23, 2012

Family

Today is the famous Black Friday.  People will be rushing stores, finding deals, coming home happy and very tired.  While a lot of people will enjoy this today our family is set for something a little different.
Today is going to be a day of family.  We are planning on going no where except possibly a snowmachine ride.  After all the festivities yesterday, the cooking, cleaning, guests, visiting, eating and putting all back into order we are ready for a day of no agendas or responsibilities besides just being.  No we might not be finding the best deals in the stores but a day to just be family is a pretty good deal to me.

November 22, 2012

Full Of Thanks

There is so much to be thankful for this year I have a hard time picking what to say in this blog post.  As everything races through my mind I have decided to keep my thoughts simple.
 Thanksgiving Day 2011
September 8th, 2012

What more can I say, besides how sad I am that we don't have another picture of the four of us since that day.  What a difference a year has made in our family, I am so very grateful! 

November 21, 2012

Not Too Big, Not Too Small

People ask me a lot about how Abigail and Ethan are getting along.  I will be honest and say that there are times when Abigail really wants my attention when Ethan needs me but for the most part they are very excited with each other.  
The main reason for the peaceful relationship I believe is that to Abigail, Ethan is HER baby.  She loves to hold him, hug and feed him, shhh him and also imitate how I am caring for him with her other dolls.  Abigail likes getting right in Ethan's face, making him smile and laugh.  The other day Josh realized that Ethan fit perfectly into Abigail's little stroller, do not worry we didn't let her move the stroller with him in it.  Abigail thought this was wonderful and it just confirmed to her that yes, Ethan is the perfect baby doll brought to life.

November 20, 2012

Fun Together

Over the weekend the weather warmed up to around zero.  This jump in temperatures meant time outside for all.
We all love our weekends for the main reason that Josh is home and we are a complete family.  Josh and Abigail have taken to spending time outside, all bundled up for one main reason.
Going on rides together.  In addition to being bundled to the hilt and wearing ski goggles, Abigail also wears a scarf wrapped around her mouth leaving only a little bit of her nose showing.  And even though she has to be bundled so much she loves it so!
Whenever we walk out the door of the house she runs over to the snowmachine shooting, "this, this, vroom, vroom."  Oh yes, Josh has a very enthusiastic little buddy to join him on his wintertime rides and nothing could make Josh happier!

November 19, 2012

The Issue With Tongues

A lot of knowledge about tongue ties, the commonly known tongue ties and posterior ones, have comes out in the last few years.  Due to a few problems, nursing and such, we figured out that Ethan had a posterior tongue tie.  Once we knew that we realized that all the problems we had with Abigail nursing back when she was itty bitty was also due to her being tongue tied as well.
 So last week I took both kids, alone (what was I thinking), to the doctors to have their tongues untied, or clipped as most people know it as.  It was a hard day.
To help Abigail exercise her new tongue movement I made her popsicles. 


And then I got the chance to teach her how to eat a popsicle.  Yes, Josh and I are realizing more and more why popsicles are meant for outdoors on hot summer days, our floors are a mess!
But these new frozen treats made my girl very happy, and for a moment she forgot her mouth hurt.
This whole experience was hard on ethan but so much less traumatizing.  Oh the joy of being able to forget!  Lets just hope the whole thing was worth it, right. 

November 16, 2012

All Year Round

Feeding the ducks was a very fun activity for all of us this summer and fall.  We have also enjoyed the fun into these colder months as well.
 Some people say that these ducks don't migrate south because they are fed.  Yet because of their presence in town on these cold winter day I feel it is important to continue feeding them.
And it is more fun in the winter than even the summer because now they really love us and are slow.  Josh was even able to pick one of the birds up.  Sadly after these pictures were taken we went back a few days later on a colder day and the birds weren't willing to get out of the warmer water to walk across the snow to us for food.  So maybe it won't be a full winter event but we will try again for sure.

November 15, 2012

A Toddler Lullaby

Abigail loves to baby things.  All day long she cares for the toys around her in feeding them, rocking them, reading to them, putting them in time out and tucking them in for a nap.
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The other day when I was working on the project I mentioned yesterday Josh had fun with the camera, as you saw.  He also caught this little video of Abigail dancing and soothing her little baby.  We love how watching our kids makes us laugh.  Yes parenting is hard work but it does bring come comic relief with it for sure.

November 14, 2012

Projects

As tiring as some days are, I really am loving this point in my life and the life of my family.  We have such simple days and enjoy simple pleasures.  I have had to put most of my projects and hobbies aside for the time being as my little ones need me to be a mama to them more than create things for them right now.  That being said I do find bits and pieces of time here and there to create and accomplish.
Most of these bits of time happen to be when Josh is home.  It is easier to step away for a moment, make a mess of supplies, and be able to focus when there is an extra pair of adult hands in the house to hold a baby in need and entertain a toddler.
But even with daddy around, Mama doing projects is by far the most entertaining item of the day.  So you can clearly see why it is that when I sat down to work on a little something the other day my helper was quick to join me.
Whenever I get frustrated by this I remind myself that there is going to come a day in the not so distant future when I will sit down alone and no helpers will arrive.  With that reminder I don't mind my lap being filled because as I teach little hands my projects my heart fills up too.

November 13, 2012

Side by Side

It is tricky going on walks with two kids in the winter.  I had a rule with Abigail that I am keeping again this year, if it is below zero the kids don't walk with me.  On those too cold days I wait and take my walk when Josh is home in the evenings.  If it is above zero I get to take the kids and walk when it is light out.  
So far this winter when I go on walks I always carry Ethan in the Moby underneath my coat.  He stays warm and I can hear him breathing and know that he is safe and comfortable.

Yesterday afternoon it was 2 degrees at our house and I was so excited to have a green light for going on a walk after experiencing negative digits most of last week.  Between naps for two, going to the potty and bundling all three of us into all of our arctic gear you can understand how the timing on such an outing has to be carefully planned.  Thus I am sure you can imagine my dismay when I realized the Moby wrap was missing.  Ethan spends part of every day in this wrap and I was distraught to realize it was left in the car, that Josh had taken to work, after going to church on Sunday.
Not to be discouraged I pushed ahead with my plan for a walk and moved to plan B, putting Ethan in the stroller.  Since he is still small and can't sit up he hasn't gone in our wonderful double stroller yet but there is always a time for everything.  First I bundled Abigail up, then put Ethan in a snow suit, hat and started layering the blankets.  His seat in the stroller was reclined as far as it could go and after I took this picture I draped a blanket over the top of his side of the stroller to keep out any wind we might encounter.   The temperature dropped to -5 degrees by the time we made it back home but we all returned safe and sound, and happy to be back in our warm basement.  Ever since the day I test drove the stroller at the store last February I have dreamed of the day when I would push both of my babes.  I smile when I realize that yes, that day has finally arrived.

November 12, 2012

Simple Joy

Ethan is very happy these days.  Even when he is up in the middle of the night and neither he or I are sleeping, he isn't crying but instead smiling.
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Thought you would enjoy a little glance at the joy Ethan brings us each day.

November 9, 2012

2 and 23


Ethan

Weight:  13 lbs 12 oz
Height:  24 inches

Our little man is growing and is not so little any more.  At two months old he is out of 0-3 month clothes and has moved into 3-6 month outfits and size 2 diapers.
He loves to smile and the other day was so happy that he had trouble nursing because he kept pulling off to smile at me.  How fun is that.
He is completely tolerant of Abigail.  All day she loves to touch him, grab at him, hold him and hug him.  I do my best to make sure I am on hand for each and everyone of these interactions since I have to keep an eye on how rough these loving sessions are.

Abigail

Oh my girl, how are you almost two.  She has grown up so much this past month.  Her hair is longer, her speech is better, and her attitude has escalated.  She is wonderful and super tiring all at the same time.  She has learned in this past month how to take off her clothes and put on new ones, potty training helped with this.  Thus she loves to pick out what she is going to wear.  Most days she wants to wear a dress, or in some cases a skirt and pants.  I am learning that her clothes must be good for twirling to make it a good day.
When you give her something or she hands you something she always says, "your welcome".  For some reason, no matter how much we correct her, she skips over the "thank you" portion of this exchange.
Abigail is potty trained!  This has been quite interesting.  She was ready after months of trying potty training before Ethan was born, she decided once he was here, now she was ready.  I really understand why they say not to potty train with an infant in the house.  There have been many times where I am nursing Ethan and helping her run to the potty at the same time, or Ethan is left crying where he is placed as we run.  Regardless of the extra excitement both kids are doing great with this and as we use cloth diapers this mother is very excited to be doing diaper laundry for one.
When I go in to get Abigail in the morning, I always greet her with a big Good Morning as I open her curtains.  Now whenever we get her up from bed she always gives us a "Morning" greeting, even if it is the middle of the afternoon after her nap.  I love how she picks up on these things.

November 8, 2012

The Letter of the Day

Abigail loves her refrigerator magnets.  She by no means has all 26 letters, that would be way too many to keep track of, but she gets a few new ones each day.  These magnets get rides in the stroller, put in and out of pots and pans, and are carried around in Abigail's little purse.  In addition to playing with these letters she can tell you that M stands for Mum (what she is calling me these days), D is for Daddy, b is for baby, J is for jump and so forth.
The other morning when I opened the pantry I was greeted by the new letter from the day before, L for laugh.  And laugh I did.  One thing is for sure, the way Abigail's brain works is different from mine and I find great joy in the ways she surprises me each day.

November 7, 2012

Little Friends

At my baby shower for Abigail a friend gave us several little stick toys that squeak.
When Abigail was just a few weeks old we put them by her changing pad.  They were right at the level where she could look at them and talk to them, when she wasn't sleeping that is.
Those little stick friends have come out of retirement with the arrival of Ethan in the house.  I had a complete flashback of those days with Abigail yesterday when Ethan started talking to his friends as well.  Added to the mix is the special rattle Aunt Hillary and Uncle Drew bought Ethan in England.  These little friends are the perfect playmates for Ethan as he starts to explore his world.  (The hippo and monkey are back at their place next to the changing table so Ethan finds small friends in the places where he needs them!)

November 6, 2012

Table For One, And Friends

When Abigail was 14 months old she and I went to Texas.  When we were there we went to Ikea and I found the perfect table and chair for our girl.  Her little table sits in the kitchen and it is there that she plays, colors, and paints.
And recently, it is where she has been having her after nap snack.  Seeing her sit there, legs crossed, eating her food with my water bottle makes me laugh.  How did my one year old get so old?
The next day after nap when it was time to eat I realized that maybe Abigail had been a little lonely the day before.  Now when it is time to eat there is a crowd to join her, we should have bought more chairs.

November 5, 2012

Me and Daddy


Daddy and Ethan enjoying the sun.
I love this picture, nothing I say can really make it any better.  

November 2, 2012

Storytime

With two little ones at home I find that Abigail has a little more time then usual to play independently.  I love how I am able to be near taking care of Ethan and just observe her play. 
From cars, dancing, feeding baby dolls and burping them to story time with raggedy Ann and Elmo, Abigail's play makes me smile.  Our girl loves her books and I have found that recently I am read to more than I read to her.  From what I see I find that when I am busy there are others who are more than willing to be her audience as well.

November 1, 2012

The Raising Heat

When the basement was Josh's wood shop we daily battled with the dust and fumes from the shop moving into the rest of the house.   
But now that the basement is a cleaner space in the house it was time to open it up a little more to the rest of the house.  With the wood stove downstairs the advantage to opening it up is allowing heat to flow a little better through the colder parts of the house.
Whenever Josh's projects take place in the living space of the house he gets a helper.  As much as he tries, this little girl just can't be kept away from her Daddy when he pulls out his tools.  She is a house builder in training!
Josh put in two floor vents.  One under a window right above the wood stove and one in front of our relight door.
And we can already feel the difference.  Josh commented the other day that he couldn't feel heat blasting through like you might think, the basement is very warm, but it does flow in slow and steady.  Our living room upstairs has been on average about 8 degrees warmer this week than last, very, very nice!