August 29, 2014

Quote

There go my people.

must follow them, 

for I am their leader.

Sometimes motherhood feels very much like this.  As I chase behind my little people we will head into this weekend planned with a lot of fun activities.  Hope your holiday weekend is a good one too.

August 28, 2014

Chores

As Abigail grows she has more and more small responsibilities around the house.  Her chores are a variety of different things that are at her level and let her "help" me.  But one chore she created by herself.  I hang the family's laundry from a clothes line off of the deck.  
Part way through the summer Abigail decided that the wires on the deck could be "her" clothes line and thus her new chore was created.  She is in charge of hanging all of our cloth napkins, burp rags and dishtowels on her line.  She loves this and has been know to use up to 6 clothes pin on one rag.  
Now Ethan, because his chores aren't as advanced as Abigail, is so jealous of her responsibilities.  The other day we were hanging laundry and I look over and see him very intently trying to hang his own rag with the clothes pins he had snagged from Abigail's hung rags.  I wanted to capture this moment as he was so proud to be doing a chore with Abigail, even if he was putting the clothes pin all upside down.  May he always want to help out, although I have a feeling once the chores are assigned to him alone they might looks their appeal.  

August 27, 2014

A New Idea

Grammie is big into Arts and Cracks.  It is so fun for the kids because they now know that when Grammie visits some new idea will arrive as well.  
This time the project was a white t-shirt, sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol.  You color with the markers and then spray the shirt with the rubbing alcohol and it smears the color into the fabric.  What fun for the kids to be given permission to color on clothes in any design, and with any skill they had.  They are very proud of their new t-shirts!

August 26, 2014

The Baby

I have some wonderful news.  Our little Naomi has started going to bed at night.  Sometimes it still takes until around 10pm but a lot of days recently has found our little lady in bed, asleep, by 9 pm.  This is huge as up until recently she was still staying up until 11/12 or later.  She has been my hardest child to get into a bedtime routine.  Maybe it is the chaos in the house during the days that makes here want to sleep then and be awake when the big kids sleep or maybe it is the days of endless daylight in the summer.  But now fall is almost here and it is getting dark out at night and with that our girl is starting to go to bed.
This mama is very thankful.  She still gets up to nurse several times at night but I can handle that.  A normal bed time is so good for everyone.  I do hope that by writing this post I don't jinks the whole routine, we will have to wait and see.

August 25, 2014

Look What Happened

Biking is a big deal at our house right now.  Ethan got his new scooter bike and that lead to Abigail asking when she could have a bike of her very own.  Lucky for us a friend had hand -me-down pink and purple bike just waiting for Abigail a few days later.  Very little instruction was needed and then this happened.
Only problem now is that Ethan is very confused why his bike doesn't have pedals.


August 22, 2014

Alone

I am blessed that I get to spend time each day with my kids.  But just like any stay-at-home mama, the sight of daddy's car pulling in the driveway is a welcomed sight each day, reinforcements.  Yesterday, after spending all day with me, I encouraged the kids to go play with daddy in the yard for a few minutes while I nursed Naomi.  Abigail looked at me with a sad face and said, "But mama, I have to stay with you so you don't feel lonely with just Naomi."  
Being physically lonely, it is not something that I face very often these days at all.

August 21, 2014

Celebrations

When Grammie was here last week she brought Ethan's birthday present.  
And in order to get a present there needed to be a little party.
Turning 2 is a fun time where a few turtle masks, your sisters, grammie and mama, and leftover pancakes topped with your favorite fruit is a super fun party.
Especially when Grammie bought the good whip cream and mama teaches you how to eat it right out of the can.  You should have heard the laughs this brought from both Ethan and Abigail...big highlight of their day and they will never look at whip cream the same way again!!
But the real joy came from the well chosen gift.  I love this look of joy has Ethan first saw the box.
Our boy has his very own scooter bike.  I hear the words My Bike all day every day now.  He is in love.  Thank you Grammie and Grandpa.

August 19, 2014

Sunshine Crafts

The other day we had a break in the rainy clouds.  The sunshine was wonderful and it reminded me how bold I can be with arts and cracks in the sun.
Because even though inside crafts can be fun, it is much harder for this mama to bring out the "messy" crafts.    But bowls of water, paint brushes and water colors on the deck, no problem at all.
When cleaning up from craft time means dumping a bucket of water on the deck I am all for it.  There has been a crispness in the air recently that reminds me that fall isn't too far away.  It also is the urge I need to have many more messy craft days on the deck.  Winter will be here before we know it and our inside crafts will resume.  For now let the mess take over.

August 18, 2014

Almost 2

Ethan's second birthday is just around the corner.  I am a mix of emotions these days.  I can't believe that my little man is almost 2, how the time has flown.  I also can't deny that he is acting very strongly like a 2 year old these days.  NO and Mine are big in his vocabulary and he loves to do his own thing.  But my little man, he is as sweet as ever...except when he isn't.  Oh 2, you are so hard on a growing little boy.  
Due to some travel we did his well baby visit early.  Here are his stats at almost 2 years old:
Weight 30lbs
Height 34 1/4"
Head 19 3/4cm
I remember when Abigail was at this point, I didn't think I would ever make it through.  At least this time around I have confidence that we will come out of this, mostly in one piece.  A friend once told me that the strong will, trying to be independent but not know how to feel, and defiance of a 2 year old is similar to that of a teenager.  The periods of life when one is trying to find their way without help before they realize help is what they need.  But then I have also had another friend just remind me it is called the terrible twos for a reason.  Ethan, you are a strong, sweet little man that I love dearly.  We will make it through, one day at a time.

August 15, 2014

Summer Sun

Maybe I have mentioned that we have had a rainy summer.  Rainy, rainy days - today included.  So when the sun does come out, well we go a little crazy.  This past week we were able to enjoy one of our sunny days with a big cookout with friends.
 Abigail about died with excitement over their big trampoline.  
 And with the trampoline came the river, the beautiful lawn, friends, grammie, flowers and lots of food.
 But best of all was the sun.  Oh that glorious sun that we Alaskans pretty much worship whenever it decides to come out.
 Summer days full of hot dogs and deep conversations between 3 year olds.
That and the tour of the fancy lawn ornaments made for some pretty happy kids.  So even though yesterday was a super hard day as a mom and today the clouds proclaim a dreary day I will hold fast to these pictures and these memories.  Summer 2014 is going fast, the leaves on the trees are already changing, the kids are growing.  The hours sometimes seem so very long but the days, they go so fast.

August 14, 2014

First Rides

For the past four years we have avoided all of the rides at the fair.  This year it has been all Abigail could talk about for the past two weeks.  Definitely a shift!  
She was super excited about riding a ferris wheel but once we got there we found out she was too short.  Thankfully when I turned her around there were the kiddy rides and she was super excited to just ride something.
 Ethan wasn't too sure when we put him in.  Then he held this face the entire ride and it left me wondering if he was having any fun.  But when I went to take him out he threw a huge fit and begged for more, more.  I guess he did like it, my serious boy.
Abigail's biggest complaint, it was too short of a ride.  Yup, I do believe we are raising future amusement park kids.  Just need them to grow a little taller first so that they can ride the roller coasters with mama and daddy.

August 13, 2014

Yearly Growth

The fair, the cabbages and our yearly picture.  We went to the fair on the last day this year so the cabbages were a little wilted but since it is tradition I couldn't resist a picture.  You can tell form the kids faces that they don't love my tradition but someday they will thank me.
August 2014:  Abigail 3 1/2 and 30 lbs, Ethan 23 months and 30 lbs, and Naomi 9 weeks and 12 lbs 8 oz.  
August 2013:  Abigail at 32 months and 26 lbs with Ethan at 11 months and 25 lbs
August 2012 - Abigail 20 months old and 21 lbs
August 2011- Abigail 8 months old and 18 lbs



August 12, 2014

Fair 2014

Josh's mom loves the fair, the kids love the fair, and I love little bits of the fair.  That combination meant that once Linda arrived, we went to check out our yearly fair.
 As always the barn with the big animals was the first thing we visited.  It was funny for me to see the shift this year.  Abigail has always been overly fascinated with the animals but at the mature age of 3 she was already loosing some of her interest.  Ethan on the other hand, I do believe he stopped breathing for several minutes from the sheer joy of it all.
 This was his expression most of the barn visit as he listened to all the sheeps, cows, chickens, pigs, geese and goats.
 And because this is an Alaskan fair there are always going to be a few unique things to see.  One such is the blue ribbon winning reindeer.
 It really was a fun day.  The kids loved it all.  So many sounds, animals, people, smells, things to touch and memories to make.
 Even Naomi got in on the fun.  Not sure how much fun she actually had but she seemed content all day.  She didn't mind nursing in the rabbit barn while she listed to the sheep in the background at all.  What a easy going baby.
Fair 2014 - we aren't big fair people but we did it and it was good.

August 11, 2014

Grammie

Josh is out of town for work again.  It was an unexpected trip but happened to occur just a few days before Grammie's planned visit.  A few days of juggling three solo and Grammie's blue car pulling in the driveway was a very welcomed sight!
It has been a busy, busy weekend but the sun has been out and grammie is here.  What fun.

August 7, 2014

Naomi

Naomi had her two month well baby visit yesterday.  Her stats are:
Weight - 12 lbs 8 oz (75%)
Height - 22" (25%)
Head - 39.9 cm (90%)
In addition to having a physical, her development was noted and she is doing great.  She smiles, kicks, laughs, coos, watches us, and holds super tight to any piece of my hair that she can reach.  I look at her and in my mind, when compared to my big kids, she is my smallest baby yet.  But I know that it is all in comparison so just for fun I looked up Abigail and Ethan's two month stats.  For some reason Ethan wasn't weighed at two months but at this point Abigail weighed 6 oz less and was an inch longer.  So Naomi, at two months you are my short chubby baby (if only they had measured you from the top of your hair that loves to stick up).  My baby girl mama couldn't love you any more, I think you are just great.

August 6, 2014

Enjoying Summer

Have I mentioned recently that it has been a rainy summer?  Well, it has, it is and it seems to be continuing that way right into fall.  
So when friends called us on one of the rare sunny days and asked if we wanted to go on a boat ride -
The answer was most definitely yes.
(and despite Abigail's face in this picture, which makes me laugh so hard, she was having a great time)
And in addition to the ride, our evening also included stopping along the river for a little cookout dinner.
And Abigail, she called it camping.  You see Abigail has been asking to go camping all summer, even though she doesn't know exactly what that means.  All her books show camping as sitting around a fire, with marshmallows of course.  So this excursion, well it made her the happiest girl.
And adults like it sit and talk a little bit after dinner.  Kids, they like to play.
And as it often goes, the boundaries go a little too far.  But you know what, when it is a summer evening out on the river with friends, all is ok.  Especially when mama packed a change of clothes because well, I know my kids and fun is bound to happen.  As the days go by, one rainy one after the other, how thankful we are for the special days where we really did get to enjoy summer. 

August 5, 2014

Imagination Dangers

I am learning as a mom how wonderful a child's imagination can be, and how real it is as well.  A fake toy pickle is a lollipop and piece of gravel from the driveway can hold all the gold inside to make a necklace.  Yesterday I was playing with the kids and their doctor kit and I got a glimpse at how "real" their imagination can be.  I was playing around and "cut" off each of their big toes with the scalpel and sewed Ethan's toe on Abigail and vise versa.  What resulted was five minutes of tears from both of them as they begged for their own toes back.  I love to play along with their imagination but at the same time have moments when I can't believe how deep it goes.  If one looked at their foot they would clearly see a perfectly fitted toe in place that matched the rest of their foot, not the foot of their sibling.  
Yes, an imagination can certainly bring fun, and drama, to a day.  This picture was taken to document the kids in their "boat."  I was instructed to stand on carpet to take this picture so that the sharks didn't get me.  Apparently they are big, hungry and very frequent visitors to our living room.

August 4, 2014

Those Special Days

The past few days have been so different for us.  "Just the girls" was heard a lot around this house.  
I found myself able to be a little more attentive to Naomi and learning her triggers for sleep, hunger, happiness and frustration.  So often when there is so much going on I am in a constant state of just soothing everything.  It was so nice to have a few days to really zero in on what Naomi tries to tell me.

And Abigail, well it was fun to pull out all of the 3 year old appropriate things.  We used scissors, painted, cooked, went on walks without the stroller (just the moby for Naomi), went to stores that Ethan isn't allowed in just yet and more.  What a 1 year old can do vs a 3 year old is huge.  It was nice to take a few days to just focus on one age instead of trying to always find the middle Abigail and Ethan can both reach.
Yes, we did have fun and we enjoyed those days but something was always missing.  When I told Abigail it was time to go to the airport to get Daddy and Ethan she said it perfectly, "We are just the girls but now we get to be a family again."  


August 1, 2014

On Being 3

Being 3, what a fun and crazy age.  In no time at all you can go from
 Being a baby girl monster
 to a card making walrus
or to a superstar model making the letter K with your arms.  Being 3 means life is rarely ever boring for you or anyone else around you.

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