Monday, December 17, 2012

"ME"rry Christmas

Okay, okay... not the typical title you'd expect around Christmas time.  This time of year is all about sharing and giving to those wonderful people in your life.  Well, I believe Leinna's gift to me this holiday season is the gift of independence.  Everything these days is, "Me do it!" or "I can do it myself, Momma."  I love that she's gaining independence - just about 100% potty trained, going upstairs to get pj's for both herself and Lukkas at bath time, getting undressed herself, drinking from a big cup, taking her coat and shoes off... the list goes on and on.  The one thing I wasn't expecting was my own personal feelings as she goes through this new stage of development.  I find myself a bit teary-eyed when I know its best for me to let her explore this independence.  Sigh... I'm sure I'll have many teary-eyed moments when the independence becomes more and more.  For now, I'm going to relish in the fact that while we are gaining independence it also means she's gaining in her knowledge of her world and how to function in it. 

So, Christmas time...

 Last week our day care provider took some time off to go see her son wrestle at the state tournament- this was a great thing as I decided that this was the perfect reason to stay home with my kiddos for the day.  We had fun decorating the tree over and over and over.  Yes, the ornaments are kid friendly, so Leinna has fun going over to the tree and moving them around. 

 We even were able to do some self photography in front of the Christmas tree.  A huge thanks to my friend for picking up with kids outfits during a recent trip to Anchorage. They are prefect - not too frilly that the kids can wear the outfits more than just once. No presents under the tree yet, as Lukkas is into everything these days and well, the poor kid probably hears the word "no-no" in his dreams.  Even Leinna goes over and says, "Lukkas, I said no-no," in her best mothering voice.

So, to keep Lukkas away from the tree- just bring out the laundry basket.  The two of them played without any toys for a good 15 minutes - just giggling with each other while they sat in the basket. I'm going to love looking back at memories such as this.  
Finally, if you can't seem to find Lukkas anywhere - just check under the kitchen table chairs.  Our table is a very high table with extra tall chairs.  Just the perfect spot to 'hide' and give momma a bit of a heart attack because she can't find her son anywhere. 
"My cup runnith over" and yet it aches for the families in Conneticut - prayers to the families, friends, and the community as they begin to process and heal from this tragedy.   I know I'm holding my own babies a little longer - may you do the same to the kiddos in your life.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

8 Months Old!

8 Months Old - where oh where is the time going?!?

I can already tell this photo is going to be one of my favorites of Mister.  He was hanging out in the kitchen with Leinna when I went to get my camera (or as Leinna calls it the cram-a).  I turned around and Mister saw the camera and did this sweet pose for me. I'm so thankful I had the camera ready to capture the moment.  He's such a climber and will stand up along anything. I have a feeling he's going to be walking much earlier than Leinna did. He continues to be all boy- banging on things and making grunting noises! A few times it's sounded like he's said, "hi" and "da-da" - but that could be my wishful ears. 

Leinna loves to just play - it can be with books, with toys, or just using her imagination.  Our good friends gave Leinna these boots and when she wants to wear them she asks for her "Miss Clara boots".

We've continued to have clear skies this past week.  This has meant some chilly nights, but beautiful sunset and amazing view of the full moon...

I can't believe it's December already.  3 weeks of school and then a much needed Christmas Break!  Hope whenever and wherever you are when you read this, you know that we send our love.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

 Happy Thanksgiving!

You can just see the twinkle in Lukkas' eye that he knows something delicious is going to happen today!

 Boy, was he right!  Papa kept the tradition of him cooking the bird, while Momma did most of the fixings.

Having two young children now, our options for our Thanksgiving meal was either 11:30 or 5:30.  I voted for 11:30 so we could all take naps later :o)  We ate around noon and turkey had the exact opposite effect on my children- no naps for them meant no naps for Momma or Papa.  Oh well, we had a great day and I even found myself teary eyed as I thought about the many blessing in my life that I'm so very thankful for!

The Mister is busy keeping us on our toes!  He's learned how to pull himself up on things - boy, I thought Leinna was a busy child, but Lukkas is always go, go, go.

Leinna, well she just keeps growing up.  Looking more and more like a little girl and not so much toddler any more.  She's starting to do imaginary play and her newest is that she's going to check the mail and there's a new box.  No one knows what's inside until she opens it up!   She cracks me up with how excited she gets to pretend to open an imaginary box.  I just love it!

We've had clear, beautiful skies! 
What a blessing!

We send our love to you all and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

A weekend of firsts

Before my update about the weekend ...

I just love playing around with some simple effects on my computer's photo program.  Originally this phone is a little washed out and blurry, but turn in black and white and it looks great (in my opinion). I can't believe Lukkas is heading into month 8 soon.  Where is the time going and make it slow down, please!

Okay- so our weekend of firsts.  Friday night, Leinna and I ventured to the grocery store for just a few items.  Prior to this trip, I've always avoided letting her take the shopping cart that is just perfect for her size.  Well, since it was just her and I, and the list was short, I thought why not!

Oh my goodness... she was a pro! So confident in where she was going and did a great job of driving the cart without knocking into anyone or anything.  

Saturday was a first for Lukkas - his first trip to the swimming pool. Wouldn't you know - I was so excited for him, that I didn't even take a picture.  In fact, I didn't even have my phone with me to take a picture.  I'll be sure to capture his 2nd trip to the pool.  It was great to have Papa come with us and play with Leinna in the pool, while I introduced Lukkas to the idea.  Lukkas loved the water and kept squirming in my arms trying to get free to go and do his own thing.  I would say it was a huge success! Thank you Cordova for providing a tot swim time!!

Sunday's first events- Lukkas' first time actually playing in the snow.
He loved being outside and watching Leinna run around.  I tried to set him in the snow, but with all his bulky winter gear, he had a hard time balancing and just toppled backwards.  We did however, get a first ride in the shovel with Leinna.
After last winter, Papa (also much of Cordova) definitely has a plan for snow management this winter.  Our four-wheeler with plow on it is in need of some maintenance, so Papa had to do some manual shoveling. Look at the two little munchkins he scooped up!
At first Lukkas wasn't to sure about this ride, but by the end he was having fun.  Papa asked if the kids were getting a sled for Christmas? He, he, he....

Finally, as we were playing out in the snow, Leinna was able to test out her new winter gear that Momma got a great deal on while she was in Anchorage a couple of weeks ago.  I love her imaginary play that is developing.  As she trudges through the deep snow to sit on this bank, she muttering something to herself.  When she plops down I asked her what she was saying.  She replies, "I'm sitting on my couch momma - see?" 

What a great weekend of firsts! Looking forward to a short work week and some much needed quality time with the family. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Time for Refocusing...

Nothing like a knock out from a flu bug to give you some time to reflect and refocus.  I can honestly say that I've been going non-stop for so long that my body finally had to knock me down so that I would get some rest.  After sleeping all weekend long, I attempted work Monday, but made it only half the day. Still not feeling 100% today, I tried to make it to work, but was sick after dropping kids off at day care.  Okay, okay... so why am I blogging?  Because as much as I need rest, I'm not very good at sitting still. This is even more true now that I have children.  So, I figured an update to the land of Leinna and Lukkas keeps me resting, but at least I can feel like I'm getting something done.
This past week, I was away on a trip to Anchorage supervising some of my students as they participated in Special Olympics.  This is was great for my heart and spirit towards teaching.  So much about education is turning to take this test and measure this progress - which is all good, please don't get me wrong.  It's just difficult for me when I work with students whose disabilities prevent them from showing what they can really do based on a paper/pencil or even computerized testing.  Anyways...

The event was bowling! How fun, except we don't have a bowling ally in Cordova. So, in order for our team to practice - we had to get creative.
Yep, nothing like practicing in the library with a child's bowling pin set!  The girls had fun practicing and a little practice was better than none.

After a fun lunch hosted by a Partners Club at an Anchorage high school, we headed to the bowling ally.  Even though we were a small team, the girls had a blast!  The two students with special needs each bowled a strike!  Seeing the pure joy on their faces and observing another school's program inspired me to do more here in Cordova. (well, as soon as I get over this bug anyways...)

On the home front, Papa was in charge for two nights and two mornings!  He did an amazing job and I love that it gave the kiddos time to bond with Papa.

Well, time for another nap and hopes of waking up feeling better. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween 2012! 

Before we share all the fun of Halloween 2012, let's get the week updated.  For my faithful weekly readers, I apologize for the delay in the posting. I wanted to wait to post Halloween pictures.  

So this week started off with Mister turning 7 months old!
When did my baby turn into such a little boy?   Before turning 7 months old, the Mister had his first major cold.  Poor guy- check out his eyes...
 I ended up taking Friday off to take Mister to the doctor. The doctor said it was just a cold, but he did have the start of an ear infection.  So we got on some antibiotics right away.  His eyes cleared up within 24 hours, hmmm.... makes me think maybe there was a bit of an infection in his eyes.  Anyways- so glad that he's feeling better. 

Even sprouted 2 teeth!  

No crawling yet- just a bunch of push-ups.  He has done two crawl movements, but that's about it. He's very quick with scooting and inching his way forward. 

With all this excitement and getting over a cold, nothing more precious than a sleeping baby.

Leinna enjoyed her first Mt. Eccles Halloween Carnival.  She was a bit overwhelmed, but did a great job of waiting her turn for the games.  When it was her turn, she loved being told that it was okay to throw things!! 

Leinna was super excited about her first pumpkin carving.

However, once we got the top off and started cleaning the pumpkin out...

She was way more content to sit on the floor and play. She looks like she's in timeout, but she wasn't. She just did not want to help with pumpkin.

Once the pumpkin was done, she gave it a hug and said, "I love my punkin". So stinking cute!

Mr. Bones and Princess Pumpkin ~ Halloween 2012

No actual Trick or Treating for us this year.
We live out of town and rarely have trick-or-treaters. So, it's been our tradition to go to our friend's house and help hand out candy.  Leinna was a great helper as you can see.  There were a few costumes that Leinna was leery about handing candy to, but for the most part, she had lots of fun.  

We hope everyone had a safe and Happy Halloween.  

Let the holiday season begin!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Clear Skies and SNOW!

Clear skies this past week meant that our temperatures dropped and the snow fell!
It only snowed on Tuesday and we have about 4 inches. Not that I'm ready for winter yet, but the snow was a nice change from the grey skies and endless rainstorms.  Everything is a little brighter now with the white stuff on the ground.  Time to dig out the snow gear!

We are approaching the end of 6 months with Lukkas. It is more and more challenging to have the kids sit together and get a decent picture of both of them.  I just love the new clothes that arrived for Lukkas this week thanks to Grandma Julie for shipping them up to us.  Crazy thing about living in Alaska  - I had our Halloween outfits as part of the order, and if I had it shipped straight to Cordova, it wasn't going to be here until October 25th. Well, I've learned that it may say it will arrive in Cordova on that date, but it could be two weeks later before I actually receive my packages.  So, I had the items shipped to my mom's in Wisconsin, which she so kindly then repackaged in flat rate boxes and we received them in no time! Lukkas is wearing one of the new outfits I ordered.

The items I ordered were mostly for Lukkas as he has out grown the clothes I had for him.  According to the companies size chart, Lukkas is in the 12 month size already! YIKES!! Here he is snoozing away in his new jammies. My camera couldn't do justice to how big he looks. 
Leinna continues to make us laugh everyday.  Her new thing is to lay on the back of the couch. This is where she likes to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Seems like I remember laying on the back of my couch as a young girl, too.  :0)  Leinna is also working on potty training.  Who would have thought potty training is more about training the parent when to take the toddler to the bathroom, then actually training the toddler how to go?!? 

Finally, this is our new routine in the morning. Leinna loves to sit with her brother while I get him dressed for the day. They just laugh and talk with each other. What a great way to start the day.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Finally some sun!

Hurray for a week of sunshine!

What a blessing this past week has been to have clear skies and sunshine.  We took every advantage we could from going to the park to walking the dog. 

Lukkas loved his first time in the swing at the park. 

And Leinna...
She had fun wearing her 4th of July hat her Aunt Emily made and her sun glasses.  Yes, she likes to wear her sun glasses upside down and its so cute that I just let her enjoy wearing them upside down. 
Yes, Papa is wearing pig tails. 
It was "Gender Bender Day" for school spirit this week. Papa is working hard to improve school spirit and so he did his best to participate by wearing an elastic waist skirt of momma's and put his hair in pig tails.  When Leinna saw the pig tails, she said, "Me too!"

It's back to a rainy day today, which was great to get caught up on house work. The one thing about sunshine in Cordova, is that everything else gets set aside and you go outside to enjoy the sun!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall is upon us

With our third straight week of heavy rainfall, Lukkas was treated to his first tea party! 
Well, his version includes putting whatever Leinna hands him into his mouth.
We also got out the Johnny Jumper. Challenging to explain to Leinna that she's too big - good thing we let her jump on our spare bed upstairs that is sitting on the floor.  This way she can jump too!

Even with all of our creativity on how to spend our days, we definitely started to get cabin fever.
Oh dear...Leinna had such the case of the sillies after her bath. Typically, she's relaxed and ready for bed after her bath, but not this night.  I was laughing so hard - I had a tears in my eyes.  I'm sure this just encouraged her to keep being so silly!

The weather sure didn't seem to bother Lukkas too much.
I keep blogging about how close he is to crawling, and really he's so close.  I've even given him permission to do his first act of crawling and day care- but this didn't seem to encourage him.  I'm actually counting my blessings that he's not crawling.  He's very mobile in the fact that he will roll or scoot to get where he wants to be.  Just the idea that he's only going to get faster... oh boy!

I'm sure this will be a first of many "Who me?" pictures! 

What a goof!  He sure does love his sister. Man, if she's still sleeping either in the morning or during her nap time and he wants her to wake up - he will fuss and fuss and nothing will make him happy until his sister is awake.  This warms my heart, because I have great memories of my younger brother and hope that Leinna and Lukkas have a similar relationship.

Today- Hip-Hip-Horray!! The storms finally broke and we had a day of no rain!  It's amazing how even with gray skies and cloud cover, the mere fact that it wasn't raining was such a blessing.  I left work earlier than I usually do, grabbed the dog, picked up the kids and headed out for a walk. 
Oh, it felt so good to get some fresh air! Even though Lukkas has a bit of a cold, I could tell that he enjoyed the fresh air too!

It was also nice to see some fall colors.  Granted we don't have the spectacular trees that change colors, but if you look closely you can see that fall is here.
The weather forecast is for some clear skies for the next few days. Will have to wait and see... I did read an article that stated we had 40 inches of rain in 3 weeks and during that time, 17 inches of rain fell in two days!  CRAZY!!