Friday, November 18, 2011

Goals

I'm a huge fan of goals both big and small-- even the smallest goals keep me striving for things that are outside of the day to day comfort zone, which I like.  I'm a dreamer by nature and my imagination loves to run away with the thoughts of living in far off places, having various jobs, experiences, and learning new things.  I'd love to learn to sew, paint, I imagine sculpting lovely mugs for tea, etc.  While time and skill will not allow every one of these little dreams to be reached in the near future, there are some that I can fight for a bit more than others. For the past few years, I have wanted so badly to learn how to play guitar.  I have had numerous people try to teach me, but it is not coming easily at all.  My husband would tell you it's because I rarely practice, and he would be right, but it's certainly not that I haven't tried.  I get the guitar out to practice, and immediately forget everything I have learned just days before.  Other instruments have come much more naturally to me, but this is the one I really want to learn and learn well.
It may come as a surprise (or not...:)) that I am not always the most patient person in the world.  If I can't pick up the guitar and belt out a song like I'm the next Brandi Carlile then it isn't much fun to play at all.  Not exactly an attitude I want to have, and it's only the occasional attitude that slips its way in there.  That is not the lesson I want to teach Henry at all, so I have picked up the guitar and am trying again.  And this time I'm going to make it happen.  I want to teach this boy that he needs to be persistent and patient in things he wishes to accomplish, so for that reason and because I honestly have the desire to play, I'm resetting the goal to play guitar.  Hold me to it!
I have been practicing chords, but simply memorizing chords hasn't proven to be the best way for me to learn. I have no doubts that if I want to be a truly good player I need to memorize and connect them all, but I'm much more inspired to play by the music that I love.  There are certain songs I listen to that I would so love to be able to play along with, so I find myself more motivated when I learn the chords for those pieces. I have decided this will be the perfect goal for the winter, as it is currently -4 degrees outside, we will have plenty of time indoors.  I need to learn, and Henry loves to participate.  He bounces and dances with each strum, and loves every opportunity to get his fingers on those strings.


A few of my favorites:
Probably my all time favorite song
another great one
and this one

Thursday, November 17, 2011

For the pleasure of your ears

This is one of those songs that I can just listen to over and over. I have a bit of an obsession with her music. Enjoy your Thursday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On little things that go a long way.

Sometimes it is extremely easy to let my wish lists get a bit lengthy, and allow them to creep to the front of my mind.  Things I wish we could buy (hello, iPad), places I wish we could go, things I wish were different.  It's a natural thing and I don't always think it's unhealthy to keep track of things you would like to have and to look forward to the future,  but at times I have a little reality check and reel it back in a bit.  I don't want to want things I don't have all of the time.  I appreciate what I do have, both big and small, and it's often the smaller things that end up being just what I need. A little boy who giggles with joy when I walk in the door, a husband that senses how badly I want a certain snack and heads out into zero degree weather to go get it, who makes dinner while I'm putting Henry to bed.  As I write these things out I'm thinking, these are actually not small things at all.  These are incredibly special things that I wish never to take for granted. We may not have every material thing that we wish to have, but the simple things we do have are beautiful.  Will we still think of these things sometimes and wish for them? Sure. We are always going to have our eyes out for a house we love, or cars we'd like to carry our little family on future adventures, art that we cannot afford but speaks to us, clothing that we shouldn't buy but love.  But what we do have is everything we need to allow us to be comfortable, and a lot of love around us to make us happy.  
And salt and pepper chips that my sweet husband went to get for me. Little things like that go a very long way. :)  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hello friends!
Another quiet week around here.  Sometimes that quiet is just what I need, but I hate the feeling of being forced out of routine and the time to do the things we enjoy, but such is life.  Sometimes things just have to take that course.  We got a bug in our house this past week!  A fever/chills/ body aches/sore throat mean little bug that hit each one of us with great ease.  Henry was sick Friday-Sunday, Mama Monday-Wednesday, and Eric from Wednesday night through yesterday. But we are all better now!
I have so missed reading all of my favorite blogs, sharing things with all of you, and just going about daily business. But here we are, thankfully, and feeling good.
A couple fun changes have taken place at our house recently-- of course there is the runaway dog who keeps trying to bolt for the creek and sneak under the fence which is not one of the fun things, but Mr. Henry is doing all kinds of new things.  He eats things like crackers and "puffs" now, and he just munches away on them like he's been doing it forever and it's no big deal.  Maybe it isn't a big deal really, but for me it feels huge. My little boy EATS! On his own!  Just little bits here and there, but how fun for him to be able to have a bit of whatever we are having.  He loves that exploration of food!
Also, he has learned to play peek-a-boo on his own. We've been doing it for months and he sort of looks at us like "um, I'll watch because you're trying so hard but this really isn't that funny, guys."
But now he has made the connection that if something is tossed over him he can grab it and throw it off himself, which is of course much funnier in his opinion. At first he flails a bit and makes a gasp noise like it is such a shock that something is on his face, but then his sweet, chubby little fingers reach up for it, pull it off, and a goofy giggle follows. I love that!
We should have more fun things to chat about on the blog this week, now that we are up and running again.
We have been getting snow dumped on us all week, which is gorgeous. I think we'll head out to take some pictures of it today-- in the midst of the move we misplaced our camera charger but it has now been located, so maybe there will be more photos from that and less blurry ones from my phone.
Have a wonderful weekend!
I hate that the sweetheart was sick. But I adore the feeling of his weight on my chest while I hold him, sleeping.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Little update on the four-legged one

Finn is home.  He found a very nice couple on the trail with a dog that I assume he follwed after.  They took him home so as not to freeze in the fast falling snow, which I'm very thankful for.  It's a little funny how things work.  Last night I posted a missing dog ad on Craigslist, in the "lost and found" section.  This man posted a found dog ad in the "pets" section, but neither of us saw the other's post.  Another woman, however, somehow saw both posts and was kind enough to email me a link with a note that said " I think your dog is there" and sure enough the link led straight to Finny.  The man who had him had gone to work for the night and his phone was off, so we had to wait overnight to get the boy back but we rested knowing he was in good hands.  This morning I received a text message that said Finn was cuddled up in bed with his girlfriend and their dog, and was doing great.  He said he could meet me at any time to return him, so I headed straight out the door and went to pick him up.  He happily jumped out of the truck and got in mine, and was very happy to see me but acted as if nothing odd had happened. He is the friendliest boy and would be happy to have a little sleep over with friendly people at any time, so it was all very normal to him apparently. The kind man asked about Finn, and told me what a wonderful dog he is.  He also said that they had decided if they didn't find the owners that they would have kept him.  When we spoke in the morning, he had mentioned he didn't know how to get back over to this area of the trail without walking the whole thing again, so had we not found him on Craigslist and relied on posters around our neighborhood which was to be our next attempt today, he would have never seen them.  Thank goodness for his prompt post on Craigslist, and for the woman who took the time to email me as I may have never found it.
So Finn had a fun little adventure, and is home safe and sound.  We will be heading out shortly to have a new name tag made, and until then he is being escorted outside when he needs to go out.  I should have never needed a reminder, but this served as one to never take that boy for granted.  It's been hard for me to give him as much attention as I used to since I've had Henry. Both boys want to be on me all of the time and Finn is the first to have to wait.  But I will absolutely be taking this as a kick in the pants to remind my Finny how much he is loved.  I know he didn't purposely disappear, but it's scary how easily they can be gone.
Thank you for all the concern and come-home vibes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Finnley

 I just need to write out these nerves.  Our pup Finn is missing. MISSING.  I've never had a missing animal before and it's not something I had really given a lot of thought to and here we are and he is gone.  We were just saying today how things have been going SO well with our new house and new yard, how he has done so great staying close. There is a lot of space to wander out here. A trail in the back and a creek on either side that all run through the city. Today Henry was having trouble napping so I decided to rock him for his nap so the poor boy would get some sleep since he is sick.  I walked him out to the living room and Eric let Finny outside, and when we went to call him back he wasn't there.  He tends to wander in the creek a bit so we thought he'd come back and he hasn't.  It's been over 4 hours.  It's cold, dark, snowing heavily, and I am just left with my imagination... What if he got injured and is stuck in the snow freezing? What if someone took him and isn't going to bother taking him into the shelter, or a vet's office to check his microchip? What if he is at someone's house and they are treating him poorly? I know, such an optomist right?  All I can do is hope he found a friendly family on the trail that he followed, and that he's being well taken care of at somene's house until tomorrow when they'll bring him in to find his family.  We miss him. We are worried. And we NEED our puppy back. He needs to be ok.
If you have a moment, please send a thought our way, to bring Finn home safe and sound.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The bummer about not being pregnant

There are some obvious perks of being pregnant: The excitement and anticipation, the many firsts, acquiring all of the things for baby that remind you of the fact that you're actually going to meet this person, the pure joy of growing a human life inside of you... but not surprisingly, another favorite part (for me, at least) was food.  Not at first. For the first few months, the sound of food in general was fairly disgusting.  I could eat turkey dogs and macaroni and cheese (not proud of this but whatever!) and oranges but not much else.  Somewhere along the way though, somewhere in the second trimester I'd say, food became incredible again.  Even more so than it had been previously. There are numerous posts on this ole' blog (here and here) about the things I was enjoying throughout the months of my pregnancy with Henry, and let me tell you, these things were beyond delicious to me.  I would have done crazy things if it meant getting my hands on a chocolate mint Cliff bar, hot fudge, or a turkey pot pie.  But now? Well now, I'll just say ehh. I've been excited to buy Cliff bars a number of times anticipating that oh-so-good feeling of eating the things that are just so beyond wonderful like they were when I was pregnant.  But that amazing taste never comes. They just aren't that great anymore and I have to say, it's a bit of a bummer. It's probably for the best because I'm still waiting on the last of my double chins to disappear after months of indulging in every thing that tickled my fancy.  But I'd keep the chins a bit longer if things still tasted that good. You know what I mean? Just my recent thoughts.
Anyway, I'm feeling like now maybe it's time for a new list of the things I'm into.  Granted, the things on this list won't be just as delicious, as there must be a lack of hormones affecting my taste buds these days, but there are still things I love of course.

1. Kale/sprout salad as I've mentioned before.  It hasn't gotten old yet.  We eat a giant pile of kale every night now and it's feeling pretty great to do so! So simple, inexpensive, healthy and yes. That's all.

2. Baked eggplant We've also had this a few times this week.  (You may be thinking we should vary it up a bit! I swear, we do... sometimes...) Eggplant slices dipped in egg and then bread crumbs. Bake at 350 and voila. Oh that makes me happy.

3. Halloween Candy No. This does not make me happy. (Except when it does)

4. Popcorn my trusty friend. I never tire of popcorn. I do it the old fashioned way--on the stove.  Olive oil, popcorn, salt. I probably eat this too often but I don't plan on stopping any time soon!

5. Morningstar chicken nuggets they are not actually chicken of course.  They are mostly veggie protein and whatnot, and we love them! I can't remember if we were eating these when I was pregnant or not, but I would have been all over those had I tried them at the time. When Eric went home for a week this past month I ate them for 4 nights in a row.

6. Thai Food We've moved to a new area of town and with that comes a new Thai restaurant that is dangerously close.  We have had it three times this week and intend to take a break now. I. Love. Thai. Food.

7. Baby kisses All the delicious things in the world while I was pregnant could never compare to how much I love the baby kisses from the one who was in there all along.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. 

Sugar has a hold

Anyone ever seen the episode of Sex and the City where Miranda cannot stop eating desserts? She bakes a chocolate cake and eats it tiny sliver by sliver. She ends up throwing the cake in the garbage in a desperate attempt to keep herself from eating it and ends up eating pieces from the trash without hesitation until she finally squirts soap all over it and calls it quits.  Yea, well, that might as well have been me in that episode.  I don't know what my deal is, but my sweet tooth is taking over!  I have a healthy diet (other than the recent sweets) but my self control has been lacking the past couple of weeks with dessert and I would like to rein it in a bit.  I'm never going to be one who deprives herself of treats and foods I love. If I crave them, I have them. But I don't want to just eat them because they're around.  I have hidden the Halloween candy because I'm never craving it, but if I see it sitting there I'll eat it.  Cookies and cake on the other hand? Always in the mood now.  We made a cake and have the leftovers covered on top of our stove. Tonight as I was preparing dinner (baked eggplant, whole wheat angel hair, kale/sprout salad-- a would-be healthy meal) I find myself shoveling a cake appetizer in my mouth and wondering where my self control has gone.  After some thought I think the reason could be the fact that I don't get to exercise much anymore.  I use to exercise a lot, and I indulged in whatever foods I wanted but I didn't really crave things like candy and cake. But now I've cancelled our gym membership and am considering joining a less expensive one so that I can get the activity I crave back.  Soon we'll cross country ski on the local trails, but it's a bit of an ordeal and I can imagine it won't be a consistent daily activity. I think getting back to the gym will be exactly what I need, because although I'd rather exercise outside, and will do with company, I'm never that comfortable going out alone in Alaska's dark winter days on the trails.
Well here's to a bit more activity, and a bit less sugar. I think my body craves this change. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A pickle.

I've been trying to write a version of Henry's birth story for our birth center's website for weeks now... but for some reason I just cannot do it.  I figure since this is for work, I cannot be too wordy or share every single nitty gritty detail and these must be two of the large reasons I'm having trouble.  I'm not a gal of few words, especially when talking about matters that I am passionate about. Henry's birth? Obviously passionate. Work/birth in general? Yep, passionate. So I have a lot to say.  I also am a big fan of detail, and have to respect that not everyone is quite as comfortable with that as others.  On my own blog, I can spew out anything I'd like for your reading pleasure (or not) but for work I think I had better keep it direct and lovely. And the birth experience was truly lovely, which is I think the main reason that writing the story is difficult. I wrote a quick version of the story shortly after Henry was born, but I didn't delve into it as much as I would have liked. It was such an important day for me, and it's important to me that I properly write about it.  I think two more versions might be in order here... the lengthy version that I so desperately want to hang onto every detail of, and the abbreviated work version for women who may be interested in our clinic.  If you were looking for a provider/facility for your pregnancy/delivery, what details would you want to read about from other women who have experienced it?? Any suggestions would be helpful!  I know I'm over-thinking this, but there is no way out of that :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

7 Wonderful Months

To my big boy!
You turned 7 months old yesterday, on Halloween. 7 seems so big!  As per usual, you are growing at lightning speed and just when I think my heart can't stretch another bit you make it swell even more with all of the love I have for you. If only I could just hang onto each day a bit longer so I can savor every moment with you. 
You are growing more and more curious about the things that surround you every day.  You can pick out tiny little things in a room, and scootch over to them and use your chubby little fingers to try to pick them up. You can't quite pinch with your thumb and index finger yet, but you spend a good bit of time trying to. I laugh at the fact that you will attempt to pick up a piece of fuzz or a hair that floats in your bathwater (usually from your little toes) when you are surrounded by so many bright toys. You love the toys too, but mostly Mama and Daddy's things. You are really interested in cords, and you scoot so fast to them and try to put the plugs in your mouth but of course I take them away.  Your friend Brody is equally interested in cords. And you both love the dog bowls.  Must be something about the age!  You still love kisses just as much as ever,and now you aren't so offended by Daddy's bearded kisses. You lean those sweet baby cheeks into our lips and keep a happy smile on your face while we smooch you... I wish I could just kiss those cheeks all day long. The past two weeks you and I have started sharing breakfast in the mornings, and I so look forward to it! You are just as excited. When you see me come from the kitchen with a bowl in hand you start waving your arms around and making the most precious, excited sound. Sometimes we have oatmeal, and sometimes we have yogurt, and you always act surprised when the food hits your mouth and then you ask for more. You'd like breakfast a lot more if I would let you dump the bowl all over yourself, because you try each day to do just that.  We will be ordering you your very own  chair this week so that you can sling food around to your heart's content. I've giggled as I walk into the office with oatmeal and yogurt smears stuck to my clothes, but it's ok because it reminds me of you when I'm at work. Everything reminds me of you.
This past week I learned that you can gum things like "puffs" in your mouth, so now you get to try fun little snacks that you couldn't have before. You're so excited when you eat them, and I can't blame you at all because I love snacks too!  I hear you calling me in the other room, so I'm off to soak up some baby kisses before I tuck you back into bed .  Speaking of bed, when we lay you down you wrap your little arms so tightly around our necks.  I let you hold on a bit and while I stand there with my face against yours I silently wish that you continue to hug my neck like that for years to come. 

We love you so.
- Mama
You didn't like your month pictures as much this month! As illustrated in the last picture. Silly boy.

It's been a long week.  And sadly, I've not been feeling all that inspired.  Not for any particular reason, it's just been one of those weeks. The snow has landed here and falls quickly.  We've been waiting for the snow to come, but the actual arrival of winter still seems so sudden. We are now moving around town at a much slower pace, shielding our faces from the blowing snow when we go outside, and there is no more heading out of the house quickly without bundling up. It feels refreshing though, in a way, to see the white all around us, to feel the chill on our cheeks, and I sure do love watching the large white flakes flutter outside our window.  When winter comes here, I am generally glad to greet it as I love the season, but it can be a bit difficult for me too because it hangs around for half of the year. But here we are, diving head first into Alaska's gorgeous winter.
Last week I was busy at the birth center, welcoming two babies to the world. We also took Henry to a little Halloween festival at a nearby elementary school that our friends work at. He loved looking around and we had such a good time imagining what it will be like some day when Henry is the one going to school.  We wondered what he would want to dress up as, who his friends would be, which holiday activities he would have wanted to try. This year, the trick-or-treat bag making station was the highlight for the wee one.  Of course, the mama was the one to make his little bag, and Henry sat there sucking a marker. He loved it though. Who needs toys and festive fun when a marker is such a great time?  We've been walking the trail that is literally in our backyard, and I think I'm just in love with it.  We had a trail near our old house too, but this one is literally in the yard, and it leads straight to a little pond that I can't wait to skate on in the coming months. I think Henry will love to watch people slide around out there. For now we have enjoyed watching the ducks who are still silently swimming along in the quickly freezing water, and the moose that walk about.
I'm happy to break the quiet streak that was this last week-- I hope you're all well. Stop in and say hello!

Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera with me everywhere we went-- so I'm sharing some blurry iPhone photos. I hate that, but c'est la vie I suppose!
Our new backyard...
We were watching a bull moose cross the trail and then the road. He was moving happily and slowly,  as cars waited patiently for him .
Making the trick or treat bag at the elementary school
First snow fall
We've been eating a lot of toast with avocado recently--scrumptious!
And a LOT of kale. Kale+sprouts+champagne vinegarette=wonderful.
I muse move the candy from the house. I have no control.