Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's official

As I wrote the title of my blog, I thought people might suspect I'm pregnant or that we're moving or something big. No. Neither one of those is happening any time soon. Wait..... this is big news who am I kidding. Well let me get on with it. It's official--Sydney can officially tie and double knot her shoes by herself. How cool is that for a 5 year old?
This evening I was talking to my mom (aka Gammie) on the phone while Sydney was getting ready to go on a bike ride. To both our amazement, she tied her shoe by herself and included a double knot. In the past she has tried a time or two but it wasn't something we were working on daily. Tonight she did it out of no where. Sydney was so giddy. She ran to Jeff and showed him by putting on her other shoe and then she took the phone away from me, told my mom what she just did, took off a shoe, and talked her through each step as she tied her shoe again. It was awesome to see how thrilled she was with herself.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Fever

I know it is spring, but spring doesn't hit Alaska until late April/early May. This year has been different though, and let me tell will hear no complaints from me. The break up of the snow is already in progress. It's been very warm, so warm that there is no snow on our roof or driveway (we finished breaking up the ice on our driveway today). Today was beautiful. We decided to go hiking at the ER nature center and then a bike ride after our hike. I can't believe it, we took down our bikes and actually went on a bike ride. Seriously, so exciting! Looking forward to this summer in Alaska, crossing fingers (and toes) that it stays relatively warm all summer. The hike and bike ride were delightful, spectacular, a breath of fresh air, and refreshing.

It was a great day.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Birthday celebration

I realized last week that 8 1/2 years ago I married the best husband for me. He's not the President of the United States and he hasn't found the answer for world peace, he occasionally needs a reminder to put his dish away or put the toilet seat down, but I didn't realize just how AWESOME he was until last night. He pretty much knocked it out of the park. Let me fill you in on the details. Last Monday was my birthday. Jeff surprised me and planned for me to go on a cruise w/ Jeff's cousin (aka one of my besties, partner in crime, sista from another mista, you get the idea) that Thursday. On Thursday I left to fly to cali. I left the house a mess, but I did manage to do laundry, prepare some meals for them to ensure they would eat at least one healthy, balanced meal a day, and wrote a list of things they could do everyday. This was Jeff's first time watching the kids (all 3) by himself for 4 nights/5 days. They picked me up from the airport last night and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that the kids were fed and bathed, the house was clean, dishes clean, he did 4 loads of laundry that day, and cleaned out the fridge. Wow! Did I mention he's a stud. I think I might leave him with the kids more often, he did such a great job! Sydney said he made a great mommy and was proud of him. I couldn't agree more. Oh and I need to say that Jeff started planning this even before Christmas.

Now I'll fill you on my trip. To say I was excited not to change diapers, make dinners, clean, make a bed, take 3 kids on an airplane, break up fights, deal with meltdowns, lounge by a pool, read a book, sleep in, have girl talk all day long, do what I want when I want, is the understatement of a lifetime. As much as I LOVE my kids it was such a luxury to travel without them in tow. All you moms know what I'm sayin'. As I flew into Orange County I saw the fireworks at Disneyland. Grandma Marianne and Luisa picked me up. It was my first time in 15 months to see Jeff's family, be on a 4 lane freeway, shop at Marshalls, breathe smog, and be in the lower 48. It was my first time in 6-7 months to see green grass, feel an ocean breeze, fly on an airplane, and leave Alaska. Thursday night I stayed up till 2am seeing all the things Luisa has done to her house and mostly catch up and talk. Friday morning we ate breakfast with Jeff's dad, Tyler, grandparents, Tim, Shannon, Luke, Matt, and Aunt Trina. Then we headed to Long Beach to get on the ship. It was breezy, but that didn't stop us to lay by the pool and the warmth of the hidden sun still managed to soak thru our clothes and make us feel warm. We watched everyone around us buy buckets of beer and drink the alcohol like there was a contest who could drink it the quickest. We read and talked. That night we went to dinner, sang karaoke, and danced. Next day, Saturday, we were in Ensenada. We got off the boat for about 10 minutes and got back on. We were afraid it was going to rain on Sunday so we wanted to take advantage of the warm sun and get back to laying poolside to read and talk and take a nap. Plus it seems like the only tourist attraction in Ensenada is Papas and Beer. Well at least that's what everyone was saying and by the looks of all the hats and shirts people were wearing from that store the following day, I would probably agree. I just don't drink as you all know, so I was more than happy to soak up the sun, leisurely read, enjoy good company, and take a much needed nap with the late nights we had so far. I did however participate in a 2nd polar plunge, which I wasn't planning on. You see the waterslide and pool use ocean water so the water was salty and of course colder than what I had anticipated. I guess that explains why only kids were going down the slide. Saturday night we had a formal dinner, went to a show, saw 2 different comedian acts, and danced more. Lots of laughs and fun that night. Sunday was cold and did rain. We read more, talked more, watched a movie, had fun making goofy poses with all the photographers, dinner, show, another comedy show, and lots more dancing, this time with a live band that wasn't playing hip hop music so we actually could sing along to every song making it that much more fun. Luisa makes a great dancing buddy, but I already knew that. The next morning we had to pack and leave. It wasn't so sad to leave knowing I was going home to lots of love and cutie pies. So the best birthday surprise EVER. Now I might just be expecting something along those lines every year. So Jeff if you're reading this I also want to learn Italian and go to Italy, travel to Costa Rica, Bahamas, Niagra Falls, and if you could figure out an African Safari vacation that would be so cool too. I'm just sayin'.
Unfortunately this is what happens when a little nephew doesn't see you often enough....he backs away, scared...of me. So sad. Every time I moved closer, he moved further away. But he's so dang cute.
His older brother, Luke, was so cool, and didn't hesitate to sit on my lap. Love him! And how did I not get a picture of me with my other nephew Jake? Another handsome lil' guy full of life. Just how I like 'em. He cuddled with me while I read him a truck book. Yes; Cuddle him. I'll take a cuddler 2yr. old any day.
So happy to be on the ship.
If this isn't art, I don't know what is. There were these two models posing as we walked a little ways in Ensenada.
Poolside chatting it up and indulging in mindless, gossip magazines.

Formal night. Those white things protruding from my dress is NOT part of the white railing....they are my arms. Can you believe how white they are? I hate to point that out, but I think I came out of the womb with darker skin.
Waiting for a show.
Oh, and I did a little bit of a comedic act myself on stage. I was so nervous, but the response was outstanding. A standing O. Yeah...not so much. I wasn't really born with a funny bone. And if you're wondering, we did encounter more drunk guys than I ever wanted. Lots of beer was spilt on us, mostly Luisa. Some guy literally missed his chair and fell on Luisa (the pregnant one of course) spilling beer all over her jeans. Mixing drunk people on a rocky boat is a tell tail sign that many people will become face to face with the floor and make a fool of themselves. i.e. dancing on the lido deck in the middle of the day and taking off his trunks. I was traumatized so I can't imagine the 8 year old girl just a few feet from me.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Be all YOU can be

Today we had a small birthday party to celebrate Levi's first birthday and by the title can you tell it was an Army theme? The army and airforce are very much a part of our lives even though we are not a part of either. I thought for one day though that we could pretend to be american heros. I mailed out my traditional one year birthday announcements and asked family and friends to write Levi a letter that I will save in a box and have him open all these letters and other memorabilia from his first year of life on his 16th b-day. Here are some pictures from his army party.
When kids arrived they went to find a grenade (a camo easter egg) in the hideout. In the grenade was a dog tag and parachute guys. All the kids went to the top of the stairs and watched the parachute people fly down. This by far is the biggest fort I've ever made. I counted 8 sheets and 4 blankets that I used. The girls loved it.

We also had "target practice." I filled balloons w/ money and each kid had a chance to pop a balloon by throwing a dart (w/ needle at end of dart. There was definitely parental help here.) at the balloons and collecting their money. I also put camo paint on kids faces and then we got to the good stuff.....singing happy birthday and cupcakes.
Levi was the most aggressive w/ the cupcakes than Sydney or Jordyn was. He didn't touch it at first just dropped his mouth to the cupcake and took a big bite. One cupcake wasn't enough. He wanted more and ate another half of one. He was mesmerized with the lit candle and seemed to have a good time despite not participating in the "target practice" or finding the grenade in the hideout.

Poor guy, yesterday we had to go to urgent care and get him some eye drops. He had a bad eye infection with copious amounts of eye goobers. His eyes were red and swollen today, but the eye drops are working its magic already and it is getting much better.

One year mark

My baby is ONE?? Yes it's true. 365 days ago we were at the hospital and I held my first son. It was a moment...a moment I wish lasted longer than just a moment. But a moment that will forever be close to my heart and a memory ingrained somewhere in my brain that I can recall at any time. We're such amazing creations, aren't we? We LOVE Levi. Sydney gets him out of his crib in the morning, he eats his breakfast. He usually takes a nap about 10:30 and another at 3:30. When he is awake he is usually in the kitchen playing w/ pots and pans or we're playing in the basement or upstairs in the girls room. So I tried taking pictures of him. I got very little pictures of him looking at the camera. I have a new found respect for photographers.

Jeff was in Oregon on Levi's first birthday so we celebrated today. Actually we celebrated all we long. Sydney had spring break and since Jeff was gone we LIVED it up. Let's see we went to the Imaginarium, went to a fun indoor pool place, played at Arctic Oasis, went to Chuck E Cheese, and had multiple play dates with friends.

Swimming apparently is very exhausting. I have never seen the 3 of them sleep in the car at the same time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tour of Anchorage

Last weekend Jeff participated in his first x-country skiing race. I believe this one is the biggest race in Alaska. There were 1500 skiers. Jeff skied the 25k race. There were also 40k and 50k and 25k classic. Jeff did freestyle a.k.a skate skiing. I believe 25k is 15 some odd miles. It was a beautiful day. Sunny, blue skies, and about 22 degrees. His start time was 10:04am. There were many waves to accommodate so many people. He had been training for months and sometimes he would pull the girls behind him even making it a harder work out. I do skate ski and let me tell you, it is a FULL BODY workout. I can't imagine doing this full body workout for as long as 15 miles or longer. The race came. Jeff was excited and nervous. I watched him take off from the starting line and knew I wouldn't see him for about 1 hr. 45 min. I drove to the finish line and waited for him. I waited and 1 hr 45 min. passed. I wasn't too worried, but when 2 hours passed I was now worried. I thought maybe his knee gave out on him because the day earlier he messed it up. Finally, I saw him come over the hill. I cheered for him, but when I got a closer look, I knew things weren't good. He was so pasty white, pale, and looked worn out. He finished and then proceeded to tell me that he collapsed at the 22k marker because he had no energy. Jeff has hypoglycemia and due to that he didn't have enough sugar in his blood and fell over. Because this is a huge race, people did not want to stop. I can understand that. Jeff guesses at least 75 people skied by him before a selfless woman stopped and gave him a bag of jelly bellies. He chewed the whole bag and was finally able to get up and finish the race. The woman is a wonderful example of a good samaritan who stopped. She sacrificed her time to stop and help Jeff who looked like and needed some help. We both were humbled by this experience and learned a life lesson that we will always remember.