Friday, January 30, 2015

five friday favorites

It's been forever since I've done a friday favorites post and I've been finding a lot of fun stuff on pinterest lately. I have so many ideas floating around in my mind to make our lives a little better, but it's always tricky actually putting the ideas into motion and getting stuff done. One step a time though, for now I'll just stick to pinning and sharing my ideas here.

one | breakfast pizza
this looks amazing, I don't know why I haven't made it yet. maybe because Steve has been making breakfast every day for us and I don't want to mess with his groove/I'm lazy and love eating food that someone else cooked.

Steve and I have scoured pinterest for ideas of what exactly to do in the kids rooms to open up a little more floorspace (we want to get/make the kids a play kitchen but there's no room right now) and have finally decided on something like this, that both kids can sleep in for years to come. As soon as Steve is done with the shed outside I'm hoping he can start working on making something very similar to this before he has to go back to working normal hours. 

this looks like something Steve would love and he's always asking me to make food like this so when I saw it in my Pinterest feed I had to add it to my savory board. we have some chicken drumsticks that would probably be great alongside this salad...

I just love this little poster/print so much. I want to get it for the kids' room, I think it would match the 'theme' in their room just fine. Actually who am I kidding, there's really not much of a theme in there.

probably the worst thing about our house is that there's no fireplace. all winter long Steve and I both wish we could cozy up to a warm fire after the kids have gone to bed. someday.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

January days

January used to be one of my least favorite months; it seemed to drag on with nothing to make the month very exciting. This year I've realized that the slow pace of January definitely has it's merits. The sun arrives earlier in the morning and seems to linger so much longer in the afternoon. This January has just seemed so fresh and full of promise and I'm loving it.

Steve has been home for most of the month, with just a few days of work here and there, and that has definitely made the month much more fun for the whole family. He's able to get some projects done and spend much (much) more time with the kids every day than during the rest of the year when he works so many hours. Despite little bumps here and there, the kids are in pretty predictable stages in each of their development, especially where sleep is concerned, and so we are able to get a surprising amount of alone time during naps and the evening hours after the kids have gone to sleep. We'd love to sneak away for more dates than we're currently able to, but really we can't complain too much.

Our days have been filled with...

fresh snow

 lots of outside play
(despite it being -15 degrees outside)

 plenty of indoor snuggle time;
sleeping bags are always a great way to get
him to settle down and read for a while

 the first rays of sun returning to our yard since November
(one of the negative aspects of living so close to Pioneer Peak,
it completely blocks the sun all day long for nearly three months
of the year; so we get daylight, but no actual sunlight)

 more outdoor playtime for the kids
while Steve and I work on projects

Not pictured: plenty of cookies, hearty soups nearly every day, eggs-bacon-toast for most breakfasts, movie-watching, train-track building, Bible reading, and some deep cleaning thrown in here and there.

January, I'm sorry for disliking you all this time; does it make it better to know that I'm really warming up to you now?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

family ski at Government Peaks Recreation Area

It was cold today, around four degrees when we headed out, but the skies were blue and the sun sparkled blindingly on the beautiful and long awaited snow. We decided to get outside and go skiing despite the cold temps, and finally made it out the door around ten with enough warm clothes to nearly fill the cab of the truck.

We drove the twenty minutes up to the Government Peaks Recreation Area near Hatcher Pass and sat in the truck for a moment, just staring at the beautiful view from the parking lot/chalet. Then the work began, as we spent the next twenty minutes layering the babies in their warm snow clothes, strapping them into the Chariot and then tucking Steve's down sleeping bag under and around them to make doubly sure they stayed warm enough while we were out skiing. 

It was our first time towing them in the Chariot rather than carrying them, and it went very smoothly. Pulling the extra weight while skate-skiing was definitely tricky, but it was a great work-out. I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner skier, I would definitely try classic skiing the first time out with the Chariot, but for intermediate skiers and beyond, I would say go ahead and try it. Downhills are extra fun with the added weight pushing you from behind too. 

It felt so amazing to be outside with the kids quiet, happy and contained for an hour, both Steve and I resolved to get up there skiing more often. Riggs even skied for about 30 minutes, and I was so proud of him for trying so hard, even skiing up an entire hill by himself in the tracks (and with no poles!). Sharing my love of skiing with both kids is definitely going to be a highlight of parenting, I can tell already. 

If you're in the Valley or in Anchorage and want a change of scenery, I highly recommend visiting GPRA - the trails are interesting and just hard enough and the views can't be beat. See a GPRA map, here, and the Mat-Su ski club webpage, here.

we saw three moose on the way up

Monday, January 19, 2015

currently {vol. 9}

m a k i n g
I spent this week organizing the photos from 2014 on my computer...oh my gosh that was a lot of work. I'm resolved to do this monthly in 2015 so I don't have to spend two full days at the end of the year deleting, filing and backing up the years pictures. Now that they're all cleaned up, I'm working on our 2014 part two photo book. I use shutterfly to make photo books with all our family photos instead of printing them out and manually putting them in albums, it works great! I also print out my instagram photos in books using chatbooks

l i s t e n i n g   t o
The dryer and washer are both running, KSKA (PRI's The World, to be specific) is on the radio in the kitchen, and Riggs is telling me everything he's thinking about as I type this. The soundtrack of my life, haha.

h o p i n g
A lot of my houseplants desperately need to be repotted and I'm really hoping I can find some cheap but not hideous pots at the thrift store in Palmer. Maybe the subtitle for this should actually be dreaming as I've never had the best luck at this particularly thrift store.

r e a d i n g
Slowly making my way through David Starkey's Six Wives. Every paragraph in this book is packed with historical information making it nearly impossible to read when the kids are awake. Since I haven't been able to commit to any fictional books lately I decided to read some history instead and learning all the actual details about Henry VIII's wives and marriages to them is really hitting the spot for me. 

p u r p o s i n g
I took so many pictures of Riggs with my real camera when he was a baby (see my 365 projects from 2012 here and 2013 here) and I've been feeling a little bit guilty lately about how many I've taken of Raina (not very many). So I'm purposing to keep my camera out and handy so that I can grab it instead of my iphone when I want to capture a special moment in her life. I wish that I would I have started an actual 365 project with her from day one, but I didn't and I can't go back, and late is better than never, right? I might actually have a photo a day of her since she's been born, but definitely not using my real camera.

Here are a few I've taken lately that really capture who Raina right now:

and one of Riggs and Tutka, I couldn't leave them out...

Monday, January 5, 2015

half of a year has gone by

As of January 2, Raina is now six months old. This month she has changed so much and is learning so many new things. She's so interested in watching the world around her and especially in watching every move her brother makes. She spends most of her awake time on the floor or in her snugseat as close to Riggs as possible. She does play with toys and especially loves her little fawn, which is perfect for chewing on.

We haven't been to her appointment yet, so I'm not sure on weight or length yet, but I'm guessing she weighs around 18 pounds. She's in 6-12m clothes and size three diapers and she finally grew out of her newborn and 0-3m shoes this month. She can sit up on her own for much longer now and her newest skill is getting up on her hands and knees and rocking back and forth. She can take her passi out of her mouth but is still working on putting it back in on her own the majority of the time.

The biggest change this month is moving from sleeping swaddled to unswaddled. She sleeps in her crib or pack n play (in our room) for her naps all the time now (no more rock n play) and we lay her down unswaddled and don't pick her up again until she wakes up. Most of the time she drifts off on her own with a little music playing or just listening to our voices as we do our thing in the other room. Occasionally she needs a little soothing, and patting her, rubbing her cheek or gently 'rocking' the pack n play for a minute usually does the trick.

She's still taking at least three naps, usually a long one in the morning and then two shorter (45m-1hr) naps in the afternoon. At night she 'sleeps' from 7pm to 6:30am, usually waking 2-4 times to nurse. She starts out the night in the pack n play and then ends up in bed with us by midnight usually. My goal this month is to try and nurse her in the chair in our room in the night and put her back to bed in the pack n play instead of bringing her into bed with us. But if it doesn't happen I won't be too broken up...I love cuddling her in the night too.

We haven't started any solids with her yet, and don't have any big plans to. I think we'll start with giving her little tastes of what we are eating and move on from there.

 Happy half birthday baby girl, we love you so much!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

it's a new year now

The week after Christmas is always a melancholy one for me. The rush of the holiday season is over, and with it all the wonderful times with family and friends. All we as moms are left with is the clean-up and the exhaustion that inevitably comes with so much change in routine. I prefer to take down all the Christmas decorations right away, first thing on the day after Christmas, but this year we went to Homer the morning after Christmas, so nothing got cleaned up until the day after we got home. As soon as it was all packed away and the needles vacuumed up and everything put back in it's normal place, I felt much better. Things felt normal again, like we could just relax back into our old routines.

And that's how it was for a day or two, until we decided to try potty training Riggs starting New Years Day. There is nothing normal or routine about learning something as big as to stop peeing in a diaper whenever you please and rather stopping whatever amazingly interesting thing you are doing to run to the bathroom to pee on the potty instead. It's  b i g  people. 

I feel Riggs' pain, and I know it's hard, but it's happening. I know he's ready. He know's he's ready. And yet it's still a lot of work. I'm not sure why, but this is such a big deal for me. I'm struggling with patience like I never have before, and I feel defeated half the time. Yesterday he didn't have a single accident, and today he's had three (including poop in his I feel like the hardest thing for me is the balance between asking him if he has to pee every five minutes, having him try every time the timer goes off, and trusting him to tell me when he has to go. It's so tough!

Also, we haven't left the house, have barely gone outside (and he had an accident outside) and have had no screen time for the last three days. Not going outside has been the hardest on all of us I think, but the thought of taking snow clothes on and off every twenty minutes sounds awful to me and I guess it all comes down to what I'm willing to put myself (and Riggs of course) through. We have church tomorrow, a thirty minute drive from our house, and I'm not sure how it's going to work. I'm pretty much dreading it. Anyway, send good potty training vibes my way and any (and I mean any!!!) advice would be greatly appreciated and even cherished (haha).

My biggest questions are how long to expect before he tells me he needs to go 95% of the time? How do I approach going out in public? And what about long car rides? Help!

Some pictures of what we've been up to lately: