Monday, January 28, 2013

dinner prep

Sometimes dinner prep looks like this at our house...
Where I have to fight for counter space just to get the meal made!

 But tonight, with both girls still not feeling great (Avery has this cough and congestion that just won't leave!) all they wanted to do was make a pretend bed on the floor and read books. Too cute.
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

my days

My life is my kids. Wow...that is a statement that the 20 year old Abbie would have NEVER thought would happen. In fact, back then I told almost everyone I met that I didn't think I would ever have kids.

11 years sure changes a person. Or does it?

I love my kids. Period. But I don't think being a stay at home mom is what He put me here to do. I know there is more to my story, more in my future and other challenges that lie ahead. But for now I am being challenged to take on this role of stay at home mom. A role that so many people (you online blogging moms know who you are!) make look so easy. A job that I struggle to survive on a daily basis. But we get through each day, Sam, Avery and I. We grow together, we learn, we laugh, we fight and we love everyday.

Once again being in a new town with no friends and no support system makes this stay at home mom job even that much harder. And while I was really feeling like I had a handle on all of it back in Waunakee, now, here in this unfamiliar place I am floundering again. I am struggling.

SO, I am trying my best to dive head first into my job as mom. If this is what I am meant to do right now, then let me do it with my WHOLE self. The girls are not in school right now so we fill our days with some interesting stuff. We have swim lessons, a science class and a library program that help get us out of the house. But most of the time we are here at home.

And here is what that looks like!

My girls love workbooks. We spend quite a lot of time at the kitchen counter doing "school work".

 And crafting is a must, which means my dining room table is more often used like this than for eating.
 Reading is a daily (maybe hourly?) thing. There are books in every room but the front room is our "library".
 The basement is reserved for the times when they are bouncing off the walls and need to run (or ride or scooter) off some energy. I kind of love having this huge unfinished space right now.

 We play princesses A LOT! The princess castle is always crowded with creatures of all kinds. It doesn't really matter what size or kind, anyone is welcome at a party at the castle.
 And no Ariel is not hanging herself...Sam made a swing in the ballroom!

 We play "school" ( kids haven't caught on that they are really learning and not just pretending! ha!) with our new magnet board.
 And we do projects! 
 Lots and lots...
 of projects. 
 All of that fills our days, teaches my girls, keeps them happy, growing and playing. But it doesn't fulfill me. Keeping them happy, fed and in a clean house doesn't make me feel happy.

Sam will start full time kindergarten in the Fall and Avery will go to preschool at least part time. I am hoping at that point to go back to work full time. Which means I have seven months. And I need to enjoy these seven months. I need to soak up every minute of this time with my girls. They are little and won't be for much longer.
But I just can't get my heart and attitude to match with what my head knows I should do. I just can't be happy in the here and the now. As my parents use to tell me quite often growing up, I need an attitude adjustment! If only I knew how to do that...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

our god-daughter

We are honored and blessed to be a part of this little lady's life!

 Quinn Harper Grabski was baptized this past weekend and we are her God parents. Which means the world to me!
 We have known Brandon and Traci from the first day that they met and they are (and forever will be!) some of our closest friends.
 We had a really great time celebrating Quinn and just relaxing in their new house (they recently moved too, which meant we spent a lot of the weekend venting and comparing move notes!). Sam could not get enough of Quinn, she and I were pretty much fighting over who got to hold her all weekend.
 Being a Godmother is a big deal to me. My sister and I had really great godparents growing up. They always sent us cards, were at all the big moments in our lives and were there for us whenever we needed someone. I am excited that I get to play that role for Quinn.

Monday, January 7, 2013

my baby turned 3

I don't know how it is even possible that I have a three year old. It really does feel like I was driving down University Ave on the way to the hospital to give birth just a few days ago.  But she is a strong, independent and creative three year old. She still has a little bit of baby in her (refusing to potty train all the way, her addiction to her pacifier and lots of cuddle time still required) which I know some of it needs to go away very soon. But for now we are just loving every little bit of her.

This year we celebrated her birthday with my parents and cousins. I started her birthday off with a birthday surprise on her door.
 I used saran-wrap and painters tape to fill the space in front of her door with balloons. Then when she opened the door the balloons would fall into her room on top of her. Now there is currently so much static in our house that the balloons did not fall on her quite the way I hoped they would but she was still super surprised and excited by all the balloons.

There was lots of outdoor play time over the weekend in the little bit of snow that we had left.
 And then of course there were presents and cake!

 This present was from Avery's cousin Bailey. It is a "color your own puzzle" puzzle. And Bailey clearly spent a lot of time working on this gift. Avery and Sam have both done this puzzle probably a dozen times. It is truly a very special gift.

 One thing we got Avery is a tiger umbrella. She loved it and Parker was so happy for her! I just love the look on Parker's face!
 A happy little birthday girl!!

My baby is growing up way too fast! Every birthday I really get a great reminder of just how fast they grow and how I need to treasure and enjoy every day that I have with them while they are still young. Hold them more, cuddle more, tickle and laugh more, play more and read more. I need to yell less, be stressed and in a hurry less and have more patience with my little ones.  I need to be their biggest cheerleader, their best teacher and the mom they can't get enough of!

Happy Third Birthday Avery. I love you very much!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

a little winter hiking

Happy New Year!!

Cold temps and snow do not stop us from getting out on the trail to explore. I saw a weather report that had temps in the 30s and knew that we had to get outside!

 And we had a great time. Throwing sticks off of bridges and listening for the sound they made when they hit the bottom. Finding a stream with beautiful ice frozen in some places and water flowing in other places.

 And we found a very fun "bouncy" log. The girls pushed it down and watched as it bounced back up for quite a while. Then they tried to see if they could push it all the way to the ground. Avery didn't get the memo from Sam that it was time to let go and move back. And poor Avery caught the "bouncy" log in the nose! Tears faded more quickly then the red nose did!

I love hiking with my girls at this age. Is their whining and very slow walking at times? Yes. But they are also so excited about the smallest things. It is also really fun to see their personalities come out on the trail.

Here is my leader...blazing the trail and seeing just how far away from mom and Avery she can get.
 And then there is Avery. My slow mover, my stops to look at everything and picks up everything girl. There is not anything on the trail that she isn't interested in exploring!
 And she still loves to hold my hand while we hike...which I love and am enjoying for as long as it lasts.

Now that we have moved further south I am excited to have more days during the winter months that we can still get out for long hikes and outdoor exploring.