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Friday, March 27, 2015

...change...

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This was a hard winter for me, on several levels.

I have once again found myself without a circle, network, or a group. I have been at this crossroad before. Deciding to stay at home with my son. A move. A move. A move. A baby. A winter. Every change met with new challenges.

I know life has seasons, literally and metaphorically. This season was hard. Losing my sense of self, all of my prior securities has been hard.  Life has slowed down from excitement and I have had countless hours to ponder who I am and who I want to be. I pray for the moment when I can say enthusiastically answer that "what do you do" question.

The last three weeks were utterly hard. Exhausting. I found my self stretched beyond what I felt I could survive. I craved for a change. I needed something, but I wasn't sure what. I have spent hours searching for groups or events for kids.

A change.

A change of pace.

I felt myself start to slip into a state of depression. Perhaps, I didn't fit the mold for all PPD symptoms. But, I knew I was close.

My sister sensed it in my voice. Though 1000s of miles away, she let me cry and offered some advice. My husband has been so incredibly supportive throughout all of this. He would rush home and tell me to leave and go do something for me. A haircut, a trip to JoAnns, a walk.

We hashed out a plan for change. We decided to go home for Easter (Montana). It has been almost six years since we have been home for a holiday. We typically go in July as we don't risk spending a holiday in an airport (not fun without kids). As soon as we started talking about the possibility, I got excited. I felt my load lift a little, enough to realize again that this is temporary. Life wont be hard forever. Tickets were booked and plans were discussed.

Monday morning. Me + baby + toddler are headed to Montana. Steve wasn't able to take the full week off on such short notice, but will join us on Thursday. It will be hard to be without him for a few days. We realized that we have only spent about a dozen days apart in the last six years. Oh I will miss him. The kids will miss him. But, I am excited. I am excited to be in a room full of crazy laughter and noise, obnoxious movie quoting, and just being.

Say a prayer that the trip will go smoothly. Fortunately, We are all on the same flight the following Monday.
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

...12|52...

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gabe (2)...Chapstick. Semi. Football. Same. A few of your favorite words this week. I have been trying to find you jeans for weeks. You are so skinny that nothing will stay on you. Your 2T pants are about 3 inches too short, but fall of you any chance they can get. I ordered some 4Ts (skinny) and we put them on you. Your dad and I burst out laughing as you looked like you were wearing my pants. You have been fascinated by what boys and girls can do. You asked me, "Boys cry?" and "Girls cry?; "Boys wear chapstick?"..."Girls brush teeth". So we have been working on who is a boy/girl. I asked: "Are you a boy?" Yes...Is Elle a boy or a girl? Girl. Is Dawson a boy or girl? Boy. Is Sis a boy or a girl? Puzzled look....No baby. Is Liesel a boy or a girl? No...Dog.
 
 
 Gianna...(6.5mo). We tried a few more solids this week and they were met with the same response. I love how much your face has changed, now that two teeth are visible. I find it fascinating how quickly the little rolls around your thighs/wrists/ankles appear and disappear. Rolling and practicing your sitting have become your two favorite hobbies.
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Monday, March 23, 2015

...spring...

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oh.my.goodness.
We are ready for spring. We have had a few days of warmer weather and it is making me really excited about springtime. We didn't live here last spring and I get really excited every day to see what new bulbs have emerged.
 

Gianna has finally popped two teeth! It was a really trying three weeks and she was almost inconsolable during waking hours. She surprised us on Friday by sitting up! I was skyping with my sister/kids and just propped her up. I wish I would have her squeal and smile on video. She was delighted to join the ranks of the upright. She isn't very stable yet so I will have to wait for some photos. She has also graduated to the highchair. She still has no desire to try anything. Food is typically met with the "why are you feeding me this awfulness?" I will try again in a few weeks.
 
Gabe has graduated to a real chair, a gift from our neighbor. He dearly loves Ellen. He asks to go see or talk to her at least a dozen times a day. She just gets boys. We started to cut a trail in the wooded part of our property. Our intent is to make a path (6' wide) around the perimeter (2+ acres). It is currently shoulder deep in brush, most places. We made it about 50 feet on Saturday. Gabe was very content watching Steve chainsaw a way through trees/vines/brush. He is actually trying to talk. I am so very happy. His new word over the weekend is "chapstick." We have already gone through a tube :). He has been incredibly affectionate toward me for the past few days. I love to just stand and hold him for those extra ten seconds before I put him in bed for a nap.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

...boys love mud...

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It is wet out. My laundry has increased exponentially, which I love. We are outside enjoying early spring. Yesterday morning, we went through three outfit changes and two pair of shoes.
 
Over the weekend, we removed 61 brick pavers that the previous owners had under a trellis. That left a glorious playground for a boy and his excavator. I was a bit behind on laundry from the Sunday demolition. That, combined with three outfit changes, left for the third string pajamas.
 
 
Moments after he wheeled his excavator over to the mud pits, he had a slight accident and flipped over backwards...into a pit. You can imagine the mud. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. I asked if he was ok, and then watched him to continue to play.  


 
There was construction work to do! He played for nearly two hours, in dripping wet and muddy clothing. I only convinced him to come in with promises of a bath and lots of bubbles.

  I am only seeing the beginning of the piles of laundry to come. However, that face makes it worth it.


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Thursday, March 12, 2015

...6 months...

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Gianna Marie. 6 months old.
My sweet baby girl. I was able to snap a few photos of her before her brother was up. I can’t believe how much
Likes: Her brother. Her dad. The two men in her life make for the best smiles and coos. She has just started to be captivated by toys. Her feet and hands remain as favorites. She loves to be carried…everywhere. Bath time. She gets incredibly excited as soon as she hears the water starting to run.
I don’t have official statistics for her yet (next week!). However, I am guessing she is in the 18-20 pound range. She routinely wears 18 month clothing, with a few 24 months thrown in. I can’t believe how tall she is.
Sleep. She likes her naps, two hours each, at 9 and 1. She sleeps from 7 until 7 most days, only waking up once or twice.
Food. She has just started copying Gabriel while he is eating. We have experimented with a few things, peaches, squash, banana. Nothing is that interesting, yet.
Nicknames. Oh my. Sis. Squawky. Floppy. Hopefully none of those will stick. She does screech constantly, when happy (almost always) or frustrated. Sometimes, it is difficult to tell which.
On the move. She can move around a room quite efficiently, by rolling and “walking” with her feet on her side. She isn’t quite sitting yet. She LOVES to stand.
She will have a few teeth pop through any day. 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

...rain boots...

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On Sunday, we spent a better part of the afternoon outside splashing in mud puddles. Gabe and Steve walked up and down the drive way, pulling the wagon, shoveling water, walking with the bubble mower. I love that he loves splashing in puddles. 

At the end, he was positively soaked. We came in, started a fire, and drank hot chocolate. 


On Monday,we made a quick trip to the grocery store. I decided to look at the shoes to see if they might have any rainboots. As luck would have it, I found a $5 pair of frog rain boots. I have an extreme love of frogs, and I am thankful that he does too. He loves eating what he calls frogs (peas). 
  

 These boots are a fast favorite. He is longingly looking at his swing set which was surrounded by an ice pond this morning. We were able to swing a bit yesterday afternoon. Steve took him outside to swing while I put Gianna to bed. I glanced outside and I was so happy to see them enjoying the warmer weather.
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Monday, March 9, 2015

...Saturday traditions...

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I would be lying if I didn't admit to stressing about what to establish as a family tradition. As the days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, I am realizing how silly that sounds. Traditions just happen.

Maybe you have years of traditions from you childhood that you can instill in your family. Maybe you are creating new ones, too. 

Saturdays.

We have a family tradition of waffles. I make waffles every Saturday morning. Prior to kids, this was always after a run. However, the runs have been pushed back until later in the day. We love this family morning. We make waffles, drink coffee, and play all morning. It is the one morning a week that we can just relax and just be.


 I have the perfect little helper. Whipping the egg whites might be his favorite part, next to the homemade strawberry jelly, that is. I can't wait until Gianna can take part in this!


Friday, March 6, 2015

...9|52...

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gianna...6 months...She just started enjoying toys this week. I love this stage. She held a hungry caterpillar book, shaking it furiously, for about ten minutes. The look of puzzled concentration makes me smile. She also pushed herself up onto her knees and elbows a few times. She graduated to the ergo this week as she is too heavy in my wrap. I can't believe how quickly she is growing. I just got her a new pair of pajamas....24 months. She is finding her voice and loves to talk.

gabriel...2...Steve showed him a pair of magnetic bag clips. He spent the better part of an evening finding out what they worked on. He continues to surprise me with words that he knows. I am still waiting for that "I love you." He spent a lot of time this week building towers and then knocking them over. I love how he color coordinates his towers. 
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Thursday, March 5, 2015

...frog and rabbit...

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Adorable, right? I fell in love with this line of stuffed animals. I don't love the price, however. So, I decided to make them.

We made a trip to the fabric store this morning and came home with a stash of fabric. I decided to forgo the felted wool due to the cost and availability. I could make it out of sweaters, but I need to be realistic.

I found a cotton/polyester fabric that I think will be quite durable and wash well (without pilling!). I spent a total of $8.90 on the fabric, filling, and thread.


Gabe is extremely excited for a frog. I asked which one he wanted and then let him choose a fabric (out of three). I haven't decided if I am making Gianna a rabbit, or that little bear! My goal is to get them done in time for Easter.

I am realizing that I have too many projects going right now. I just put the first coat of varathane on the desk top. I finally finished priming the trim on the mudroom organizer yesterday, and just painted the first coat of deep blue. I should have the hardware for the filing cabinets done today. Then there are the photos to transfer on my wood blocks! 

Easter. 
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

...pumpkin muffins...

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My family loves pumpkin. It is my husband's favorite flavor and he would gladly eat it all year round. Gabe loves it as well, and will eat it by the spoonful. We made these muffins yesterday. They had a really light texture and weren't too sweet. I had intended to take a picture with several muffins. This lone fellow is all that is left.

Pumpkin muffins (makes 12).
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
15 ounces pure pumpkin puree (canned)
1/2 cup partially melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin tin with paper liners (red, his favorite color). Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Scoop batter into each well. Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

...out the window...

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 Our utility company is doing work on the trees at the edge of our property. Capturing a picture of him is difficult as he isn't fond of them right now. Heavy equipment, flashing lights, and loud noises. He was enamored. I crept upstairs and snapped a few. 

We bundled up while Gianna was napping and went outside to get a better look. It was sleeting so we didn't last long. 

At some point this weekend, he was crying about something and once he calmed down, he kept saying "eyes, eyes." I finally figured out that he wanted me to kiss his eyes. He always has me kiss what ever is injured, they are magical kisses (still). 

He sang his first song this weekend. He sweet pure voice.

It is no secret that he is...selective about foods. It is a victory when he tries something new. Yesterday, we were making minestrone soup together. He was helping add the ingredients to the crockpot after I was finished chopping them. He tried a carrot, and then put it back in the pot with the broth and tomatoes. I added the cannellini beans and started the burner on the stove. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him shoving fistfuls of something into his mouth. I asked if it was a carrot. He said no. I walked over to the island as he snatched five more beans. He ate several handfuls like they were his last. Beans. He couldn't get enough. Toddlers :).
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