Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm an Aunt!

I know, two posts in one day....amazing! My sister had a baby on September 6th. I was able to attend the birth which was an amazing gift!

Me and baby, not quite 1 day old

E, so excited to finally have a cousin!

Ketchikan, Alaska

Long time no update....we're going through a lot of stuff with C lately, it's been time consuming and stressful. Perhaps I'll talk more about it sometime soon.

Anyway....after a day and a half on the boat we arrived in Ketchikan early in the morning it was sunny and in the low to mid 60's. We woke the boys and ate a quick breakfast so that we could get off the boat ASAP. When we were planning the trip we looked for excursions that all the boys would enjoy and planned on being off the boat as much as possible. We had no interest in "cruising". That morning we attended a Lumberjack show; if you've seen the Lumberjack competitions on ESPN you saw some of the same men that participated in the show. Their strength and balance was impressive, the boys were excited to cheer on the competitors with hoots and hollers, yelling and clapping.

Once the lumberjack show was over we had a bit of time before we met my parents for our next excursion...I'm pretty sure they were still sleeping while we were at the show. There wasn't much to explore in town, it's mostly stores designed to cater to cruisers; lots of jewelry stores. We walked around down by the port looking at all the boats, far more exciting to the boys than shopping.

We met up with my parents and took a bus out to the Ketchikan Rainforest...yes, a rainforest in Alaska. Our guide was a lifelong resident of Ketchikan who had spent many years exploring the rainforest so he had many stories to share. We went on a two mile hike through the rainforest.
The boys had a good time, C took over the camera so we have many pictures of the folks we took the tour with and several pictures of their shoes. I'll spare you the shoe pics; here are some of our rainforest pictures. We did see a bear, which really excited the boys, but also made me realize that we need a better camera!

Our next destination was Juneau, hopefully I'll post about that soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Alaska- part 1

So, we've been back from our trip for almost a month now and I've posted.....nothing. It took C two weeks to get back on Wisconsin time, and aside from that life has been insanely busy; but I'm going to try to bang out a few posts in the next few days before I forget everything we did. Alaska is amazing! We did the cruise thing, it was alright but we are not cruise people and I don't think that we'll go on a cruise again. Getting off the boat and exploring Alaska (the small amount that we were privy to anyway) was so much fun and truly breathtaking. We loved it so much in fact that we're doing a bit of investigating to see if a move to Alaska could be in our future; if it's not another vacation there is certain to happen.

It rained while we were in Vancouver, but our entire time in Alaska was dry, and quite nice. Here are a few pictures from the boat as we leave Vancouver...I'll return soon with a post about the first port city, Ketchikan.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ugh, why won't blogger let me title my posts any longer???

Check out Adventures in Babywearing you can win a Podonbutai! What the heck is that you ask? It's a podeagi, onbuhimo, and a mei tai all in one carrier...incredible! It's being given away by All Natural Mommies and looks beautiful!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Some recent craftiness.....

I've actually been able to spend some time the last few months doing a bit of crafting! For years I've been able to set up H or E with a project or activity knowing that I'd be given at least 30 minutes to work on a project of my own...and many times I get over an hour of time from them. That has never worked with C; just about any time I would sit down he took that as a sign that it was time to breastfeed. And if it wasn't breastfeeding, there would be some emergency situation that required my immediate assistance every few minutes and it just wasn't worth the effort to take out the sewing machine and get everything set up.

This summer though we were able to come up with a plan that has worked wonderfully. I set up everything I need at the dining room table and C brings in one of our giant containers of legos and sets himself up on the floor next to me. He's close enough that he feels comfortable and safe, has ready access to help when he needs it, and I actually get projects completed! I still have to stop frequently to help with lego construction...always spaceships...but since he's right next to me it takes minimal time away form my work. As the dining room table is the table that we eat at I have to put the sewing machine away before dinner nightly, but I won't complain about that as long as I'm able to have some finished projects we can enjoy!

First up was a colored pencil roll for the boys. This was my first one, I'm in the middle of completing two more so they each have one for our upcoming trip. I'm pretty happy with it; I didn't have a pattern to work with and there are a few spots that look a bit rough, but as a whole I think they look great and the boys agree.

I also just completed a drawstring bag; also for our trip. The plan is for each of the boys to have their own bag for the airplane that can be filled with activities and snacks (so that I don't have to carry everything!). I did follow a pattern for this one, you can find it here Instructables Drawstring Bag H picked out this fabric for his...

I love the fabric he picked! I used canvas for the lining to strenghten the bag a bit as the outside fabric is a thin cotton

I think it looks great and the pattern was really easy to follow. Hopefully it will perform just as well on the trip!

We leave in 15 days! That should give me enough time to finish two pencil rolls and two bags; right?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More Lake Geneva pics.....

Typical tourist pic at the fountain in front of Riviera Pier

Checking out all the coins in the fountain

At the beach watching the mail boat docking

The Riviera Pier

Enjoying some superman ice cream :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Cicada Rescuer

We were all a bit disappointed in early June when we started getting reports from our friends and family in Illinois that the Cicadas were emerging by them as they were not any sign of them here in Wisconsin. An unexpected trip the next week took us to Park Ridge, Illinois where C and E were overjoyed to see Cicada exoskeletons; which they just had to collect and take home, as well as some of the holes in the soil from where the Cicadas emerged. We were also able to hear the male's mating call from high up in the trees but had no luck actually seeing any live cicadas. Still excited about Cicadas once we were home all three of the boys spent a lot of time examining the exoskeletons and learning more about the insects. Cicadia Mania! and UMMZ Cicada Page are the boys favorite sites and have an amazing amount of information on the insect.

After two weeks their Cicada interst waned a bit and I figured it was time to move on to other interesting adventures. H had planned a week long trip to Springfield Illinois with grandpa D. They visited many historical Abraham Lincoln sites....I'll have him write a post soon about their adventures. E spent that same week with grammie B at her home having some fun adventures. C and I recieved an invitation to spend a few days in Lake Geneva with my mom and was there that his interest in Cicadas was renewed as he took on the role of Cicada rescuer.

Apparently, Cicadas are not the best flyers. They seem to be able to only fly in short spurts and then land on whatever is below them. This can be problematic for them when they are directly above a swimming pool or the lake. Fortunately for many of them, C decided to spend most of his three days in Lake Geneva rescuing cicadas from certain death in the water. In the pool he'd gently cup them in one hand and then paddle to the edge of the pool with his free hand while trying to keep his hand with the cicada out of the water. He'd then place them on the pool deck and wait to be sure that they didn't fly right back into the water. At the beach he never even took off his shirt or went into the water. Instead most of his time was spent scooping cicadas from the edge of the water and running them up to the grass. In a span of three short days the boy single handedly saved at least 50 cicadas from a watery grave, what a wonderful boy :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mama's Day!

My mama's day was wonderful, although rain did alter our plans a bit. I was treated to an early breakfast of blueberry pancakes and coffee at a local restaurant, and H gave me this beautiful clay pot that he made. I just love the coloring and it looks great on the dining room table. We were supposed to go disc golfing although the rain changed those plans, and we ended up hanging out at home the rest of the day. I much would have preferred a nice sunny day as we all seem to enjoy each others company a bit more when we're outdoors and active, but mother nature doesn't always cooperate....even on mother's day.
The week ahead is starting to look quite busy. We need to visit the co-op, thrift store, and library. Tuesday includes an important trip to the capital to register our support for a proposed breastfeeding bill. The boys love going to the capital, and I feel great about giving them a glimpse into the power individuals can have when they get involved in the government. We also have a cat sitting job which E is beyond excited about, and a party in Chicago to attend this weekend. Add all that to our regular schedule and there's the potential for a hectic week, we'll see how it goes.