February 27, 2015

Looking Good and Knowing It

Ethan's grandpa and grammie sent him a new hat yesterday.  He loves it and has yet to take it off.  Now he looks just like grandpa and tells everyone he meets.

February 26, 2015

Pulling To Stand

There has been a lot of growth, learning and advancing in this house this week.  It is amazing how Naomi's flopping, pulling and frustrations over moving from the past month can click in just a day or so and suddenly things are changing.
 This week our girl has mastered the pull myself up on everything because I WANT TO STAND stage.  For a few days just about everything else in her life has become boring unless it is something that can hold her weight to let her pull up.  She has suddenly figured out how to get herself from the laying position to the sitting position as well on her own.  And then there is the movement.  She is putting all these steps together to figure out how to get off her belly and on to her knees for crawling.  She is still doing a lot of arm crawls for the actual moving part but it is getting the hang of it.  (Drum was borrowed from thread for two weeks.  I don't think Josh minds that it was just returned, ha ha)
Add to all these new skill the bottom teeth that are just starting to push through and well, there is so little sleep going on here.  This girl's mind is thinking movement day and night.   The past few nights she has spent most of the nights sleeping just 5-10 minutes and then finding herself sitting up in bed crying because she doesn't know what she is doing sitting up.  We have to comfort her back to sleep just to have her find herself sitting up again a few minutes later.  So hard to figure out that her body is just practicing what she is learning, even when she is sleeping.  

But the climbing/standing/crawling will become normal and those teeth will poke through.  Growing is hard but so very exciting too.

February 25, 2015

Tell Me A Story

I know I don't talk about Thread all the time but we are enjoying the benefits of this program ALL THE TIME.  Thread is a preschool resource here in our town where I can go and check out a variety of materials (similar to a library) and keep them for two weeks.  We love going and the kids love having a hand in picking out what we are going to get on each visit.  (This visit included two puppets and a drum).
 One of the items we have been enjoying these past two weeks have been flannel board stories.  They are so fun.  I sit and "tell" the kids the story with the pictures and then it is time for them to each pick a story and tell it to me.
The librarian who is leading Ethan's story hr this winter has been teaching me about the importance of kids learning the flow of a story.  It is so fun with these flannel boards to sit back and learn from the kids what they have on their minds instead of always being the one laying out where a story should go.  Fun times for these winter days.  

February 24, 2015

Natural Light

After taking pictures inside all winter
 Under a variety of light bulbs
 Where it takes about 100 pictures to get one good one
 It is such a joy to go outside and have the natural light
 that lets me take great pictures, one right after the other.
It also helps to have such cute people to take pictures of.

February 23, 2015

New Addition To The Family

When I wrote out my goals for 2015 I mentioned we were saving up for a new vehicle for Josh.  His had been faithful but was dying a quick and steady death of exhaustion from just too many miles driven.
 Well, the need to get that new vehicle came sooner then we thought.  The last week of January this old car just gave up.  We limped it into the dealership for a trade in and the last we know it has yet to go another mile.
But added to the family is the truck.  We have known this need for a new set of wheels was coming so Josh and I have been looking at, test driving and evaluating vehicles for quite some time now.  The ability to move this family, bikes, camping gear, strollers, trash, furniture, wood and more has arrived.  Josh has a smile on his face each time he heads into town, me I have driven it just once.  I am very happy in my jeep, very happy Josh is happy, very happy for what this truck will provide us with and very happy NOT to be responsible for something so big every day.  So, to our new truck - welcome to the family Mr. Silverado.

February 20, 2015

On The Ice

When you live in a cold place it is important to get involved in winter sports.  But with little kids it is sometimes hard.  There is a balance of when you take the plunge, buy the gear and get your kids involved into something completely new when really they might only want to be outside for a few minutes at a time.

Josh loves to play hockey and we knew getting our kids on the ice would be something we would do.  Last year we were ready to introduce Abigail but due to her small size we weren't able to find ice skates small enough to get her started.  Thankfully she has grown enough that she became the owner of her very own skates last month exactly two days before our extreme cold snap.  But this past week the weather has warmed and she and Josh have been heading to the ice.

She is doing great.  On just her second visit she wanted to let go of Josh's hands and try it herself.  The great part of owning her own skates is that she and Josh can go to the free outdoor rinks.  So if Abigail wants to skate 5 minutes or 30 it is ok.

On Wednesday Josh came up with this bucket idea.  It is great and gives Abigail the confidence she needs as she moves.  Plus it gives Josh a free hand to take a video to bring home to me.  So here she is on her fourth visit to the ice, she really does love it.
video

February 19, 2015

So Soon

It seems like whenever I am around other people these days there are 11 month old, one year old, 15 month olds running, walking, talking, bossing, clearly thinking and more.
 And recently it has really blown me away that in just a couple months my Naomi will be doing all that.  Where oh where have these baby days gone.
Last night we had a rare moment when she and I had arrived home before the rest of our crew.  When I took her out of the car she was so tired that she fell asleep on my as we cuddle on the couch.  I sat there knowing Josh and the other kids would arrive soon and they would need dinner, need help with this or that, need me.  But for that moment is was just me and my baby girl all curled up against me.  I thought of putting her down to sleep to get things done but quickly threw out that idea.  Oh the way she feels, her face, her steady breath as she slept.  So soon she will grow and be on the go and I will wonder just where the days have gone.  So for today I look at her.  As I chase the other kids around and take care of Josh and the household life, I look at my baby.  May I soak up her today and be able to hold these memories close.  Too soon they will be gone.  These kids are growing for sure and they just never stop.

February 18, 2015

Outside

We have had extremely cold weather for several weeks.  But then the past few days have warmed up a bit.  Those great chinook winds have flooded through our region of the north and with it a mid-winter break from the cold and the snow.  Oh, we know the cold, cold days will return and ice/snow and more are around the corner, but for a few days there is great joy in the outside world.
So today I really don't have much to blog about except that we have been too busy playing, jumping, swinging, attempting to bike, sledding, walking, making snow cakes for the squirrels and more to really have a good blog post for you.  Even last night when I might have been working on a more in depth blog post Josh and I were instead standing outside watching one of the most beautiful north lights displays either of us have ever seen.  And it was warm enough that with a winter coat on we were comfortable enough to stay out there a long time watching the sky dance.  That is the one thing about northern lights, they usually don't come with comfortable viewing temperatures.  This certainly was a treat.
So with that I leave you a few cute pictures I have been wanting to share for some time.  I am going to now go toss out the meal calendar for the week and clear our schedule because really, nothing is more important to me right now as getting this crew of mine outside into the fresh air.  After being cooped up inside seeing temperatures between 20-35 ABOVE ZERO are heavenly and we and to enjoy each minute.


February 17, 2015

A Little Here A Little There

So I am sharing this story only because my sister did this same thing last year and I learn from her.  So don't think me weird on my own.  

After Christmas I came upon the mixed bags of hershey's chocolate chip bags on clearance.  The ones that are red, green and brown mixes.  Well, last week (as we were getting ready for Valentine's day), I had the kids do a little sorting for me.  Two bags of chips, three containers each and preschool was about to start for the day.
 You know whenever I read those mom blogs that talk about teaching preschool to their kids I want to cry.  I know I talk about this a lot but honestly, it is on my mind a lot.  There are mom's out there with rooms full of preschool/teaching supplies.  With trays full of muffin tins that are then full of colored cotton balls where their kids sit and sort things.  

I am not one to go out and get supplies like that, I just don't work that way.  But when I find myself at the counter having the kids sort the chocolate chips I laugh at myself.  Because hey, we are doing it.  Red for our Valentine's day cookies, green for Saint Patrick's day next month, and a little brown to mix in (thanks so much Hillary for doing this last year, what a great idea).
The kids spent almost a half hour sorting, we then talked about which color had the most/lease/the middle amounts.  The best part of the story, this was the best part of the kids day.  They loved it.  Sorting first thing in the morning and then first thing to tell daddy when he came home at the end of the day.  Why?  Well, because it involved getting to eat two chocolate chips each at the end of a job well done.  When preschool is at home with this mama, just about anything can happen.

February 16, 2015

Love of Hats

I never wear hats.  In high school I could barely wear a swim cap all the years I was on the swim team. I hardly can even wear a winter hat even though I live in one of the coldest places in the country.  Bottom line.  I have a big head!

Ethan gets his head from me.
Problem with this is that my boy LOVES Hats.  Loves them. 
Loves them so very much that wearing one just isn't enough.  Nope, sometimes he just can't decide which hat to wear and has to wear 2 at once.  Yes, if it is a hat for his head he is happy.  Just made sure it is size 5T or bigger.

February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day - It Is A Big Deal

Valentine's Day is a big deal here in our lives.  Not the lovely sort of deal that grownups make it out to be but a kids party heaven.  I have talked to friends in the lower 48 and it doesn't seem to be as big of a deal down there as it is here.
 After a lot of thought all I can think is that after the long dark of winter a sunny holiday full of pink, red, candy and love is just what this dark town needs.  Time to step away from the cold and dark to get together to celebrate.
 And with all that celebrating we want to be sure and let our friends know that we love them.
 We have been spending time off and on for the past two weeks putting our efforts into making valentines for all our friends.  You saw the button valentine the other day but we also came up with the squishy heart idea for our mooseketeer friends.
Abigail so so so excited about Valentines day.  She came up with the menu for tomorrow.  Salmon loaf made in the heart shaped cake pan (the loaf ends up being pink because of the color of the fish), radishes, roasted red potatoes and red Jello salad.  It is sure to be a fun day to love on each other for sure.

February 12, 2015

Parenting

Josh and I could be considered by some strict parents.  We have some house rules and we try and stay consistent with them so the kids know what to expect.  But even with saying that, one of the greatest joys in parenting for me is surprising my kids with the unexpected.
Like treating a little girl who can't sleep to some popcorn and a chance to watch the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with daddy.  This picture was taken months ago but is still special to me.  Abigail is mostly our night waker.  If this girl gets a nap at all she struggles to sleep at night no matter how much activity is involved.  Most nights she has to rest in bed until she sleeps but there are times when the unexpected is so fun.  A movie, a book, or storytelling time, just us and our girl all snuggly in her pj's.  What a great joy of parenting it is.  
Well, it was really fun the other night when Ethan got to have his first "unexpected evening surprise."  Our little man had had a longer then normal nap and was struggling to sleep.  He was just sad having to stay in bed that after a little bit Josh carried him down and he got to enjoy a banana and a book about big machines with daddy.  

Yes, schedules are good, rules are needed, structure is established but these are the memories I hold dear.  The thing is, the kids always go to sleep better and happier after these encounters then any other method we have found!  Good memories for us and for them.