Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Recap

I feel like it has been two weeks since I blogged last, but it has really only been a few days.  What a fun couple of days it has been, and busy!  I'm so thankful that we had such a fun and family filled weekend, we are blessed!  We stayed in town and had a nice weekend despite the overcast skies.  Luckily, it is back to 60 degrees, blue skies and sunshine, so nice.  We took two long walks today and I still want to be outside some more.  I can't wait for the nice decks at our new house (18 days!) - I know we will be spending many evenings out there in our camp chairs this summer.

Here's a little a ridiculously long little recap of what we did this weekend:

Riggs loved hanging out in the body shaped chairs in the children's section of the library.  He could have sat there all day I think.  We went for the last Lap Sit of spring on Friday morning.  He was not sure what to think of a room full of children and adults chanting (it was supposed to be singing) songs loudly together, very silly songs like "The little bitty brown bear climbed up the tall, tall tree.  Down came the angry bees and stung him on the knee.  Up came the mama bear..." and so on.

He just sat on the floor, leaning up against me with his hands clasped together, a worried look on his face nearly the entire time.  There were a lot of people!  I think we will enjoy the lapsit at the smaller Palmer Library a bit more after we move (have I mentioned that we are moving in only 18 days?!!!).

While I was there, I had to go visit some of my favorite shelves, to see if the copies of the books I used to check out on a monthly basis as a child were still there. The L. M. Montgomery section was always the first place I went.  I think I read that exact copy of Emily Climbs at least fifteen times.  The Redwall books were also a favorite.  Ah, memories...I'm so grateful for parents who encouraged a great love of books and reading.

After Lap Sit, I met up with my sister and her boys the Indian Creek parking lot to walk on the paved path along the highway.  Next time I think we will walk on the other side of the highway - the trail is a little further from the actual road which is a lot better for the pups and boys.  But it was such a beautiful day and we had a great time.

There was only a little bit of snow left on one small portion of the trail.  I am so thankful to live in such a beautiful place, I just can't get over the sunshine and the green, growing things!

Saturday morning Steve, me and Riggs went to breakfast at Snow City.  We usually go to Spendard Roadhouse on the weekends, but they don't open for breakfast until 9am and we were up early and decided to try it.  We usually hate going there because of the long wait, but we didn't mind this time.  It was nice to sit and talk.  Riggs passed out as soon as we got to our table, and took his morning nap while we feasted on sourdough french toast and eggs benedict.

As we were walking back to the car, we made a stop at the Captain Cook Hotel.  Riggs like the comfy couches, but wasn't very impressed by the brown bear.  He thought daddy was much more interesting to look at...

I dropped Steve off to hang out with his cousin while he worked on his Super Cub project, and headed over to the Bayshore Clubhouse for a walk around the lake with Riggs and Tutka.  I got to meet up with Lindsey and her little cousin Chloe too, it was great to see them!

Tutka decided he had to jump into the water to try and chase a few ducks, but he still hasn't quite gotten the hang of swimming.  He just sunk, head first, to the bottom before figuring out what he needed to do to get back to the surface.  I helped him out back up onto the boardwalk.  He tried a few times to go back in...he must be a lab or something.

Sunday morning Steve was sick and hadn't slept well, when I left around 8 am, he had gone back to sleep in his chair.  Poor Steve!

Riggs and I went to the airport before church to welcome Aunt Connie!  Yay!  It was so good to see her, and I can't wait to spend some quality time with her during this trip.  I love my family!

We reunited with Steve for family lunch, and then headed to Boot Country to get him some new boots for the season (he goes through a pair a year, ouch).  Riggs was just chillin' in the car with mama's sunglasses big deal.

Today we went to visit grandma and grandpa after our morning walk, and Aunt Connie and Abrianna were there too!  Abrianna and Riggs quite enjoyed each sweet!

When we got home it was just too nice to go right inside, we Riggs, Tutka and I went on another, longer walk all the way around the lagoon.  It was so warm!  Riggs enjoyed wearing his new sunglasses before he got tired from looking so cute and fell asleep.  Whew!  What a weekend...

PS - I read a blog post today that I felt I needed to share.  It sums up my feelings on how I'm raising Riggs to a tee (minus the breastfeeding my toddler part, although I hope I will still be breastfeeding when Riggs is that age - if he wants to).  Every parent-child relationship is different, and so certain things work better or worse for each and every family.  I have settled into a rhythm with Riggs, and feel very comfortable with my choices as a parent thus far, but sometimes it is still hard to know if you are really "doing what's best" for your child(ren), especially when family and friends expect you to do things exactly how they did them.  Arianne's blog post really encouraged me today and reminded me to stand firm on the decisions that I've made that I really feel strongly about and not to let anyone make me feel bad about them.  Thank you Arianne!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mother's Day and Bloggers for Birth Kits

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 13 (only three weeks away!) and I found a wonderful way to honor all the mother's in your own life as well as those around the world.  Adriel at The Mommyhood Memos is doing a Clean Birth Kit drive to help save the lives of mama's in developing countries around the world.  Below is an excerpt from her blog on the subject.

Clean birth kits can save lives

Did you know that a simple clean birth kit can help save a mom’s life? Did you know that for around $2-3 you can assemble one? Did you know that everything you need to make one can be found easily and quickly at your local hardware store and pharmacy?
Look how simple these clean birth kits are…
clean birth kit contents bloggers for birth kits
And yet, even in their simplicity, they can mark the difference between life and death for a woman unable to get to a regional clinic for birthing her baby.

Clean Birth Kit specifics

1. Soap (for the birth attendant to wash her hands). Use a hotel-size soap or cut a regular bar of soap into 1/8-sized pieces. (Microwave the bar of soap for 30 seconds to soften it for cutting).
2. One pair of plastic gloves (for the birth attendant to wear).
3. Five squares of gauze (to wipe the mum’s perineum and baby’s eyes). Gauze pieces should be about 10×10 centimeters or 3×3 inches.
4. One blade (to cut the cord). You can buy individually wrapped sterile blades at the pharmacist or buy utility blades (much cheaper) at the hardware store. We teach the women to boil the blades for sterilization, so utility blades work just fine.
5. Three pieces of string (2 for tying the cord, 1 for “just in case”). String should be about 30 centimeters or 10 inches long.
6. One plastic sheet (for a clean birthing surface). Sheet should be approximately 1×1 meter or 1×1 yard and can be purchased at your hardware or paint store.
7. One sandwich-size ziplock bag (to pack the contents).

Will you join me?

This year, in honor of Mothers Day, will you join me in making a difference in the area of maternal and infant care in the developing world by contributing to our clean birth kit drive?
bloggers for birth kits volunteer handing out birth kits in papua new guinea

How to get involved in Bloggers for Birth Kits:

1. Make a birth kit. Assemble one yourself or gather a group of girlfriends, a moms group, work associates, or a church group to make a box full of them! Mail your kits to: Adriel Booker, Bloggers for Birth Kits, PO Box 6221, Townsville, Queensland, 4810, Australia
2. Donate for a birth kit to be made on your behalf. ($10 will buy 5 kits!) All donations for B4BK go toward the assembly and distribution of kits, as well as maternal care education. Make your online donation here. Please be sure to write “Bloggers for Birth Kits” in the box that says “additional comments” so the funds will be allocated properly!
3. Help raise awareness by posting about the cause on your blog, facebook, pinterest, and twitter. (Please use the hash tag #B4BirthKits!)
4. Add the Bloggers for Birth Kits button to your blog. (See the side bar for code.)
You can also watch this video that I made last year. (Feel free to repost it or link to it.) During the first part I tell the story of how B4BK was born, and from the 3-minute mark you can see step-by-step instructions for how to assemble your own kit.

P.S. Wondering what to get your mom for Mothers Day?

If you’d like to give your mom (or granny or another special woman) a meaningful gift this Mothers Day, consider making a donation to B4BK on her behalf. I will email you a personalized printable that you can include in her card. Here’s last year’s card:
bloggers for birth kits mothers day printable card
Make sure when you donate online that you put the following in the comment/note section of the form: Bloggers for Birth Kits, to Gwen (your mom’s name) from Adriel & Ryan (your name), 10 kits. (This example is for a $20 donation. Please donate in increments of $10 only – 5 kits for $10, 10 kits for $20, 15 kits for $30, etc.)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and please (please!) consider donating your time or money to helping save the lives of other mama's around the world.

My Miraculous Morning

I woke up grumpy today, I'm not sure why.  I was just mad, right from the start.  Tutka usually makes me laugh with his antics; not today.  Today I wanted to make him magically disappear.  I put together a playlist this morning.  It was so perfect for how I was feeling:

It helped to cheer me up a little.  In fact I'm still listening to it - so many good songs!  Riggs also helped to make me feel better.  I honestly do not think there is anything better in the world than the feeling of your baby softly stroking your chest with their warm, chubby little hands as they nurse.  Or to look over and see the sweetest little baby bottom covered in organic cotton and wool.

We went on a walk because I couldn't stand to be in the house any longer.  I started to relax a little the moment I felt the sun shining down on me, but I was still pretty crabby.  I felt like I just needed to go on a walk by myself, walking as far and as slow as I wanted to, with my headphones in to keep people from talking to me.  I didn't want to be walking a puppy that needed a lot of attention and that got the attention of every. single. person. that. walked. by.  I thought I just needed to be alone, on my own, in my own world, in the outdoors.

I got about half a mile before I realized I was getting more and more mad about having to "deal" with walking Tutka the right way, so I turned around.  I was so frustrated!

On the way by, I had noticed a group of about 6 women with about 8 dogs running all around.  They were on this boardwalk over a creek that was sort of isolated and set apart form the rest of the trail.  They looked like they were having a great time talking while their dogs played together...I was jealous, but was feeling very antisocial and was worried about what they'd think about me butting into their happy little group.

They were still there when I was walking back by, and I was still jealous.  I just didn't know how they would react to me coming over with Tutka.  I thought about calling across to ask them, but then I noticed they weren't speaking english.  I tried to keep walking, but something inside just made me turn and walk down the boardwalk towards them.

Their dogs noticed me first, and a few of them ran up to inspect Tutka.  He was on his short leash, so I took him off of it to let him play.  Then I kept walking slowly towards the ladies until they finally noticed the puppy playing with their dogs, and then me, walking around very awkwardly close by them.  Despite my awkwardness, they were so friendly!  They called out to me, asking me about the Tutka and about Riggs, and I felt instant relief that I had decided to walk over to them.

I ended up spending an hour there, talking with them while Riggs slept and Tutka played and played.  It was such a good way to spend my morning.  They were the sweetest women ever and they all spoke dutch and got together often to walk their dogs and just hang out together.  I was sad when they all had to get on with their day, I think I could have spent all day there talking with them and watching Tutka play with their big dogs.  Thanks to them, I left the park feeling like a different person.

It was such a lovely way to start the second-half of my day and I smiled the entire way home.  I'll leave you with a photo of some beautiful blooms I saw on the way home, and warm wishes that your day will be improved at least a little by their beauty:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

restorative walking {S.W.D.}

Outside my window...
It was another beautiful spring day today.  Right now the sun is sinking below the horizon and the sky is a mix of pale yellow, nearly white, and powder beautiful.  It is very quiet outside, there is a stillness that I can almost feel.

I am thinking...
I really should hurry up with this blog post up and go to bed, even Steve is there before me (that never happens anymore).  But it's just so hard to tear myself away from my evening internet time!

I am thankful...
I have the best little family ever!  We were on one of our evening walks this week and I just saw us all together and thought, "Wow, what an amazing little group we are!"  I am so thankful to Steve for working so hard to provide for Riggs, me and the dogs.  I love every minute of staying home with Riggs and know that not everyone has that opportunity.  My husband is such a provider, I love it!

I am creating...
There has been a lot of sewing going on in the house lately.  I am just obsessed with quilts, as you can see on my crafting board, here.  I just finished piecing the top of a baby quilt and am working on writing out the cutting instructions for my sampler quilt (te-di-ous).  I also have a pinwheel quilt I could cut out - who knows what I'll decide to do next?  I don't, that's for sure.

I am hoping...
I would love, love, love it if the sellers would agree to close early.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up about it - but wouldn't it just be lovely?

Around the house...
There are about three sewing projects strewn about on the desk.  There are boxes (both empty and packed) all around the house.  There are puppy toys in a pile on the entryway rug (Tutka's favorite place to lay and collect his toys).  There are dishes that need to be washed - lots of them.  Our bookcases are empty.  The laundry is (at least for today) done and the baskets are empty.  I am cuddled up on the couch in Steve's sleeping bag, content and happy to be blogging away instead of doing something more productive.

One of my favorite things...
Sadly, I think one of my very favorite things is spending quality time with my laptop.  My husband spoiled me after Riggs was born and bought me my dream laptop - a 13.3 inch Macbook Air.   It is so amazing and works perfectly for everything I use it for.  I love it!  

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Tomorrow I have physical therapy.  Sunday my Aunt Connie gets here - so exciting!  I cannot wait for some quality time with her...also I can't wait to see her with Riggs.  I know they will just love each other!  It is just great to see her again so soon after the last time (at Christmas and she got to be here when Riggs was born - so special).  Other than that we don't really have many plans for the weekend.

A {few} peek(s) into my day & I am learning...

Today I took a walk, a long walk.  I walked for an hour and a half with Riggs in the stroller and Tutka on the short leash.  It was an important training time for Tutka - he was learning how to heel right behind me with slack in the leash and how to sit each time I stopped.  I also had him sit each time someone passed by, to try and control his excitement at wanting to see them.

He is going to be a big dog, and I would much rather he wait to be approached than have him running up to people like a crazy dog.  He did very well, and I know I need to do this everyday to work with him.

What I didn't realize is how much I needed this today (and everyday).  I walked along until my nerve pain and resulting muscle tightness went away completely, and it's funny, in that same hour and a half, all of my stress and tension had melted away too.

I sat on a bench by the lagoon at the end of the walk, and just felt so energized and refreshed and at peace.  It was truly the best hour and a half I have spent in a very long time.

I think there might be a message from my heavenly Father in this sciatic pain.  How interesting to have an injury that hurts worse the longer I sit on the couch and feels best (nearly normal) after I've spent some quality time on my feet, walking leisurely along at my own pace.

I am usually a fast walker, I like to get where I'm going, but not right now (over extending the nerve is incredibly painful and makes everything much worse).   God is forcing me to get outside and take the time to appreciate his beautiful creation that is all around me, bursting into life.   What a blessing walking is, both for my body and soul.

my happy little walking buddy

love this - such a Steve face

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

three boys & two dogs

Today was a special day for my nephew, Corbin.  He got to go to his new school, Chugach Optional, to check out the kindergarten classes he will be entering this exciting!  I watched Noah at my house while Corbin and Kelsey were at Chugach, and then Kelsey had to work so she dropped Corbin off at my house for the rest of her work day.

In the morning we went on a walk to the new playground at Westchester Lagoon.  It was...interesting.  I thought (who knows why) that it would be a good idea to bring both dogs.  Not such a great idea.  I just felt so bad leaving Beau home to bring Tutka, but puppies need all the exercise and training opportunities possible.  So I guess I thought it would be great to go to the park with a baby, 3 year old, 5 year old, one temperamental toy poodle and a rambunctious lab puppy that wants to chase the big boys everywhere they go.  Crazy!

It actually wasn't that bad.  Especially when Corbin volunteered to walk Beau, and Beau chose to cooperate (key word: chose - depending on his mood, he can either be an angel or a little devil).  We had a nice little stroll down to the park, and the boys were very good at listening and watching for cars.

Per Corbin's instruction, whenever a car came, we all had to stop and get over to the very edge of the road, where he would hold both hands up and out towards the car, as if to protect us from cute!

When we got to the playground, the boys were free to run wild.  Tutka was too for a few minutes, until he kept climbing up the equipment and not being able to get down or nearly getting trampled by the boys as they ran around.  The big tire-less tire swing was probably the biggest hit with them, they loved it.

Riggs watched for a few minutes then fell asleep.  Beau "guarded" his stroller the entire time, watching closely for any other dog to enter his sights and growling quite fiercely if he saw one.  Tutka just sort of followed me wherever I went, keeping his eyes on the boys, sometimes whining and attempting to bound off after them.

On the way home we had to stop and check out the chickens.  When I told Corbin that I planned on getting chickens at some point once we are settled into our new house, he became very excited.  "Will they be nice chickens or will they try to peck us?"  "Can I pick them up?" "Can I collect their eggs?"  "What will you name them?" - the questions just went on and on.

Having the big boys over tired Riggs out and he spent most of the afternoon napping on the couch - his hand up by his face nearly the entire time...that same hand he had up by his eye when he was born.

Riggs is having so much fun being three months old, I am just in awe of him.  He loves to grab things now, and is just starting to do so with purpose.  He spent some quality time with Sophie on the couch yesterday:

He simply loves to look at himself in the mirror.  At our new house I want to get a sturdy mirror to lean against the wall in his room, for his viewing pleasure.  Here he is, smiling unabashedly at himself this evening before bed:

Happy Tuesday!

Keep Calm, Craft On

{I am linked up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams for this post}

This weekend I finished a piecing a quilt for a friends little girl.  I love how it turned out, so bright and colorful!  Now I just need to pick a backing and decide whether or not to do a border.  I was thinking it might look nice to do either a narrow white on white patterned border or none at all...what do you think?

Here is a beautiful stack of fabrics I picked out for my pinwheel quilt...I can't wait to get started on it.  I just love pinwheels!

The fabric I was waiting on came in this weekend for my sampler quilt, so I really need to finish up writing out the cutting instructions and then get started cutting all the squares out. Exciting!  I can't wait to finish this project up, since it's been a long time coming.