Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mia Turns Two!

Mia turned two on December 12th. We had a lovely surprise when a friend offered to make a cake for her birthday. It was simply breathtaking! When Mia woke up from her nap on her birthday and I ran her downstairs to see her cake, she exclaimed, "Pwetty!" Little sugar butterflies and gorgeous handmade flowers along with miniature cats (that have now moved to the tub) adorned it. Besides being beautiful it was also delicious! Thank you Jennifer and family for the wonderful treat! We had family over to open presents after dinner and we all enjoyed the evening together.

The amazing birthday cake!

Playing with her new toys from Granddad and Roselynn.

The day after birthday with her new harmonica from Oma. She pretends it is a camera most days! =)

Now that Mia is two she gets two vitamins every day instead of one and I think that's been the biggest change in her life. She loves her vitamins since they pretty much taste like candy. She is also talking up a storm and I'm getting to be an expert on interpreting. We talk about where everyone sleeps and if everyone she knows eats and other interesting things. It's amazing how you think you're having the most fun possible and then a new phase develops and it's even more fun! Right now she is very into drumming and we have either an empty oatmeal cannister or paint can in our living room for drumming every day. A small hand drum with mallets is on it's way to Alaska and I'm very excited to improve the asthetics of our living room as well as provide her with a real instrument to play on. When she was really little she used to drum her feet on the floor and would get mad if we tried to cushion her heels. What we figured out is that she wanted to hear the rythm! She kicked her little feet constantly and now she drums on everything. It's such a heart-warming thing for me because I think she might of inherited the gene from my brother Liam who now plays several instruments. So we're encouraging it.

I will post pics later from our holidays and all the fun we've been having outside in the snow. We've had some really decent days above zero lately so we've been able to play without getting too cold too fast.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Before & After

I recently decided it was time for some pampering and my dearest Dad overheard me and got me some pampering for Christmas. I was in bad need of a trim (surprise surprise). Since I recently discovered what my real hair color is again, I thought it might be nice to shake things up and get some highlights. And to put the frosting on, I felt my nails could use some special attention. So here are the before and after shots for your amusement, and mine. I crack myself up. =)

Wow I guess I lost track of time and let them get too long! Yikes!

Okay, that's much better.

Obviously in serious need of care...


The look on my face says it all.

The new hair. Thanks Dad! I loved my Christmas pampering!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Well to travel back in time a little... we went to Florida for about ten days last month and got to see and do some really fun stuff! The most special part of all was Mia getting the chance to meet her great-grandparents Grandpa John and Grandma Dorothy, my mother-in-law's parents. Grandpa John turned ninety in November, so it was really special for us to be able to see him that same month. We enjoyed some great times getting to visit, eat, and hang out with them. They really enjoyed Mia and spoiled her with lots of new clothes and toys. She loved it! She also got to meet her Aunt Jean and Uncle Gary and they spoiled her too. We really have an amazing family.

We also got the chance to go to Sea World which was really fun, surprisingly fun actually. We didn't get very many pictures there (I know - epic fail) but we were having too much fun to go back to the car and get the good camera. We went to one show that was so well done; there were swimmers riding on dolphins and whales, aerial artists hanging from wires doing acrobatics, people diving into the water from great heights, tropical birds flying overhead and actors with banners all set to inspiring music... it was a visual and sensory treat. We also had a lot of fun at the duck pond. I know it doesn't sound that cool, but when you go from the arctic to 75 degree weather and then you see 15 different varieties of ducks swimming around and your kid is really into it, it's awesome. Mia happens to love ducks so it was great. There was also an aquarium type thing where you could look at fish and little crabs in displays and Mia really liked that. She was sure the crabs were bugs and bugs are pretty much her favorite thing along with Curious George and Elmo.

Busch Gardens was fun too, but we liked Sea World better. We did get the chance to see all sorts of animals there though and got some treats. I think the monkeys were Mia's favorite part.

The vacation house in Punta Gorda where we stayed for most of our trip was absolutely gorgeous. It had a fully loaded kitchen so all we had to do was buy groceries. There was a master suite with bathroom for Lyle and Ilene. Then there was a separate suite with two bedrooms and bathroom for us and the baby. The living room opened to a lanai with a heated pool that overlooked a gorgeous canal. Mia went swimming a lot - mostly with Jason and it was great to watch them exploring the water together. She did really well with the floaty thing Jas picked up for her and was working on staying upright without help. I got in a couple of times myself and it was fabulous.

We had great weather the whole time we were there except for a heavy rain on our way to Punta Gorda from Orlando (and we were in the car for the entire thing) so it was pretty awesome. Every once in a while, out of nowhere, Mia says "Bucks? Pool?" She's remembering getting to throw her bug toys in the pool and I'm glad we had the chance to give her fun memory like that. Most of all I'm glad we got the chance to visit with her great-grandparents. Hooray for family!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Home Again

Well usually I don't write about things I don't like, but a lot of them happened in November so I will inform and then move on to the happy ending, which I am loving. I love happy endings so much I have a really bad habit of reading the ends of books, then deciding if it was a happy enough ending for me to spend my precious time reading the rest of the book. It is a rare book that can get me to read it from front to back. But I digress.

So we left for our trip to Florida and I had gotten a little sick with some wierdish stuff and some flu-like symptoms. I didn't think it was swine flu because I had already gotten that earlier... Anyway I figured I'd be fine or get better there and instead when we got back to Fairbanks my Dad picked me up and brought me right to the emergency room. Apparently I got a little virus called hand-foot-and mouth which normally kids only get but I have been on some meds that suppress my immune system and I got it and then it wreaked havoc with my body. So after a second trip to the ER I was getting worse and checked into the hospital for a solid week. Meanwhile... when we had gotten home we realized our tenant's furnace had a fuel line break and - whoops- it had spilled approximately 10 gallons of diesel fuel into our floor boards, making both sides of our duplex and every material item in it simply reek. We then moved into my in-laws house to escape the fumes (a couple of days after that is when I moved into the hospital, leaving Mia in the capable hands of Nana, Papa, and Daddy). Shout-out to the in-laws who were amazingly generous in housing us!!!

This next part is where my husband gets nominated for sainthood. So he gets the fuel line fixed, step one. Then he thinks he's going to have to rip up the whole floor to get rid of the smell, but he tries an odor-eating spray and an odor-sealing paint x 3 applications first to see if we can avoid a major unplanned remodel. The paint is applied at close quarters in a literal crawl space under our house. Meanwhile he's working his job and pulling extra Daddy hours due to me being AWOL. The paint stuff works, the smell starts to diminish.... he cleans both sides carpets... he does exactly one-million loads of laundry to get the smell out of all our clothes, linens, everything.... and I really think Saint Jason has a nice ring to it. No he's not perfect but neither was Mother Theresa. And he's not the only one on the list. Our parents, Granddad, Nana, Papa, Oma, numerous friends.... we have had tons of support and people loving on us in this month of chaos and we are so grateful. I almost wrote soooooo grateful, but it looked insincere.

And now for the happy ending. We are home again and I love it here and every little thing and quirk about this place including the red pipe upstairs that has always made me vaguely uncomfortable - I LOVE. I never ever want to move from this home at this moment in time. I love the older carpet. I love the fact there are month-old cheerios in the couch. I love that for some odd reason the bathroom is the hottest room in the house. And I forgot what it looked like, and I forgot I had pretty things and pictures of my family and little candles and funky pottery and art on the walls that friends have painted for me. It is wonderful to be home again.

My glorious mothers (Mom and Mom-In-Law) helped us move in last night and folded laundry and cooked us food and shopped for us! Mia was really shocked at first and then really excited to see all her toys and her house again, too. And she went right back into all her little routines, it was so awesome. God is good to us and I have seriously 10 billion things to be thankful this holiday season. And I love this time of year. A savior has come. Christ the Lord! (Heart bursting into song even though all I'm doing externally is grinning.)