FC: "Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened." - Dr Seuss 2010
3: My how our girls are growing up. Yesterday was the most beautiful January day you could ever have. We took Laina to the park to ride her bike, which she hasn't gotten to do much of since she received her bike in the fall. She is already proving to feel more comfortable and go faster. Marin is growing by leaps and bounds, well...for her. She had her 6 month appointment on Friday and has reached a whole 14 pounds. She is only in the 11th percentile for her age group, but that is good considering up until this point she was always in the 5th to 7th. Take a look at all the fun things she is doing. For seconds at a time she can sit and stand up on her own.
4: US Figure Skating Championships After having a rough day at work the day before I went in this morning with a new outlook and ready to make some changes in my classroom. The day began in the right direction and got even better when an e-mail was delivered to my mailbox. One of the other teachers was giving away a pair of tickets to one of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships for this afternoon. How could I pass this up? I have always wanted to see live skating AND what could be better than watching skaters that are Olympic bound in just a couple of weeks? Okay, the show I watched were the juniors so they aren't on their way to Vancouver, but they are almost as good or else they wouldn’t be here. So as I read the e-mail I was thinking to myself, how can I make this work? Pete is working and I have the girls tonight. Crazy mom that I am....Girls Evening Out! I rushed out of school at the earliest second possible, picked up the girls, hit every single red light and arrived at the Arena 20 minutes late. I jumped out of the car, prepare myself to strap Marin to me, lean over to pick her up and then....I get a whiff of something not good. Oh great, I had to change a diaper. Turns out not just the typical poopie diaper. It was everywhere! Marin's pants were soaked from diaper to feet. I made a changing table out of the front seat and moved on to change every piece of clothing on her body and wipe her whole body down, sort of a baby wipe bath. Thank goodness I had baggies to put everything in or my car would have stunk when I returned after the show. So almost 15 minutes later we are finally walking to the Arena. We settle into a couple of seats on the aisle in the row we are suppose to be in (I didn't want to have to walk over a whole row of people). I take a deep breath, relax and begin to watch the skating. Within minutes people around me are smiling at Marin and saying how cute the girls are. The next thing I know the woman across the aisle is saying, "Look, it is your baby," and points to the giant screen. I look up and there is my adorable Marin on the big screen. I get Laina's attention and tell her to look at Marin on TV. As I am saying this, the camera moves out a bit and all three of us are now on the screen. Laina got to wave at everybody in the Arena. For the rest of the show everybody that walked by complimented my girls or said something about them being on TV. To my recollection we were the only audience members to make the big screen. The skating was fantastic and I loved watching the speed, grace, athleticism, stamina and amazing stunts (is that the right word?). It would have been nice to watch the skating a bit more intently and soak it all in, but I was worrying too much about Laina kicking the man beside her and falling to the floor when she didn't want to listen. That being said, the girls did amazing! Marin was so content the whole time bouncing up and down, looking at the lights and even the skaters from time to time. Laina began a bit rough and squirmy, but calmed down by the end. She did color for about half of the time which was ok with me because she was sitting quietly. I am glad she got to experience and be exposed to something new. Because I wasn't expecting to do this I didn't have my camera so I don't have any good pictures, sorry. I took a couple with my phone but couldn't do any distance.
7: Laina turned three today! Where does the time go? Three years ago there is no way I would have believed I would have a three year old let alone another baby as well. Laina sure made out well today. All of her friends and family showed up at some time or another throughout the whole day. By the end she was very tired and a bit of a pill, but had a fabulous birthday thanks to all that showed to celebrate her. For weeks the topic of conversation from Laina was her fishy birthday cake she was going to have at her party. So I did all the preparations last night and got to work this morning on the sacred fishy cake. From the get go, it was a disaster. In the process of flipping the cake over, it broke into three pieces. I thought I was going to be sick. I started freaking a bit and reacting in a manner that was inappropriate for an adult. In response to my actions Laina said, "I didn't need to see that!" After much work, cooperation with Pete, and a lot of creativity the cake came together. It was very crumbly so I wasn't happy with the frosting job, but somehow we were able to give our daughter her only wish on her birthday. The things we do for our kids!
9: We have done a lot of activities with our friend Carson the last couple of weeks. A couple of weekends ago we made and decorated Valentine's cookies at Carson's house. Last Saturday we went to a Co-op preschool's carnival. The girls got to decorate cookies, go fishing, pop bubbles, get their face painted, dance, make a necklace, play basketball and ride on scooters. They had a blast and both were tired and overwhelmed by the end. Laina was so tired she when into a fit and couldn't come out of it for almost an hour. She was to the point where she couldn't talk or breath. Yesterday we drove over to Missoula, MT with Carson, Dani and another friend from work to visit the mega store of Fiestaware. There is just a sampling of what it is like in the pictures. The pictures don’t do it justice though. We also got to eat at a restaurant that was on top of the river. Laina loved watching the ducks while she ate.
11: I took Laina to her first play today, Charlotte's Web. It was so much fun! I am so excited to continue this tradition now. We are already planning on going to the next two this season. Before going we got all dolled up and looking pretty. This made it a very special outing for the two of us. Laina was so engaged the whole time, I was proud of her. Before going we began reading the story so Laina was already familiar with the characters and connected with them. Of course I didn't even think to take the camera, but now I know for next time. So all you get is her pretty dress, the program cover and autographes she got from Wilbur, Charlotte, Templeten (Laina's favorite), baby Wilbur, the lamb ,and finally one of the goslings (a cute little first grader that told us all about being the head gosling and that he is only a first grader and can only sign his name this way).
12: Due to our love of Dr. Seuss books we had to celebrate this amazing author's birth today. We had green eggs and ham, pink snow (Cat and the Hat Comes Back) and star bellied Sneetches cupcakes. It was a bit weird cooking green eggs and even though you know the eggs will taste the same I was still hesitant come the first bite. I think we have started another tradition.
13: Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
14: Aunt Becky send this tree building connectors. One afternoon I came home to this.
15: We went to another play called the Nightengale. One of my students was and actor so it made it that much more exciting.
16: During Spring Break we also went up to Cat Tales to see all the big cats. The most exciting part was watching a couple of kids feed the lion. What a magnificent animal! Take a look at the picture of Laina standing in front of the frog. Right at that moment a train was going right behind us and had blown it's horn. It was quite scary. You don't realize how loud a train is or how big a lion is until you are standing right next to one.
18: On Monday we took a car ride up north to Sandpoint and then back down to Coeur d' Alene. It was relaxing to get out for the day as a family.
19: We went to Polka Dot Pottery with Megan's family and Laina painted a doggy for her room. The colors should even match
24: We spent the day with Amma and Papa. We took a ride up to Papa's boat. He has been hard at work refinishing all the wood surfaces in and on the boat. It is looking beautiful! We then went to lunch and did a bit of shopping where Laina found a Lorax stuffed animal. I guess that means her stuffed animal collection is still "biggering and biggering". We finally went back to the house and colored eggs for Easter. Laina decided when the eggs were colored enough and after they were dry she got to add princess stickers.
28: We have been working forever and a day on potty training Laina. About a year and a half ago things started off well and Laina was willing. Then it took a turn for the worse. Laina decided she would have nothing to do with it and would have fits if you even mentioned the word potty. So that has been the better part of the last year. Well, just over a month ago the fits began to stop and Laina started to go willingly. So, we made an agreement that when she started going potty on her own or telling us when she had to go we would have a potty party. We made it! Laina has started to go on her own and even pipes up from the backseat in the car with words like, "I am holding my pee." Because of this, we decided it was time to celebrate. We still have an accident here and there, but nothing we can't deal with. Laina was so excited to share her potty cake with all that walked through the door. No the potty isn't dirty, I just wanted it to taste good too. Tonight Laina told me that we should have another potty party, but this time we should make a toilet paper cake. | Potty Party
29: Swim Lessons | Laina took her first swim lesson this morning. She has been awaiting this day for a while now. She even got a new swim suit and was so ready. Laina and her friend Landen blew bubbles, floated on her back, on her tummy and jumped in. She is already asking when she gets to go back.
30: Discovery Park I took the day off and took the girls to a new park in the Valley that just finished. It is called the Discovery Park. Most all of the playground toys are centered our science and discovering. There were a lot of great activities that most regular parks don't have. Laina's favorites were the spinning bowl chair and the rock slide. The rock slide was an actual rock that you climbed up one side and slid down the other. I got the biggest kick out of the spinning chairs. They would go so fast and Laina would get so dizzy she didn't walk straight for at least 3 minutes after. As soon as she would get off there was no way she could stand on her own. One time she took a total head dive into the bark. I just about died laughing. I am sure others parents were mad at me because I was laughing at my child so hard, but I couldn't stop.
32: Laina is testing me every moment of the day. There is no doubt in my mind that three years old is harder than two. Marin successfully climbed my parents staircase on her own. One weekend we took a walk around Riverfront Park. The weather was beautiful! Laina also finished up her second round of swim lessons. This time around she got to save her teacher from drowning. We have decided to take a break from swim lessons because Laina was a not a very good student this last time around. We got a bubble machine as Walmart. It is one of the best inventions ever! It makes so many bubbles that you are in a bubble world. Great fun! The picture to th left is one of the funniest things I have seen. It is what I saw when I walked into the bathroom one afternoon. We were getting ready to leave on the airplane the following morning so Laina had been ready with her backpack. I told her to go potty, but she didn't want to take her backpack off. I said that was alright, but she still had to go potty. So this is what I saw. I cracked up laughing.
35: We got to go see Great Grandma and Great Grandpa again. The girls did a great job overall, but became more difficult as the days progressed. I think we have several days of retraining ahead. Because we don't get out as much there as when we are home we tried to keep them entertained with a $5 swimming pool. Laina and Grandpa formed a bond through her Monkey George. Grandpa kept saying "Monk" was going to stay there with him and Laina refused and tried to give him a different monkey that could stay with him. It was quite cute. Last time we went back it was too late in the year for fireflies (or lightening bugs, if that is what you call them) so this time I was so excited to share this experience with Laina. We had fun and even brought back a couple for our good friend's bug collection.
36: "You should be showered with flowers"
39: Our 4th of July tradition continued with a weekend at the lake. It is so nice and relaxing. The weather didn't completely work with us, but we still got out for a few walks, went to the parade and watched a great firework show. We even collected sticks and rocks during our walks and then created googly eyed creatures with them.
40: Happy 1st Birthday! | Today we celebrated Marin's 1st birthday. Where did the past year go? We have two grown up little girls. For Marin's party we did a daisy theme. Laina and I prepared a little bit each day this week. We made cake and cupcakes, we made big tissue paper flowers for the fence and also a time line of pictures of Marin's first year. It was so much fun having a little kid birthday party in the summer. The kids were running all over the place they didn't even have time to sit down to eat dinner. Gramma Nancy and Grandpa Norm sent the water table which was a hit! Marin stood at the table forever playing. She even tried to climb aboard and take a float down the river.
41: Daisy Party
44: I just had to share a couple stories from today. The girls and I were up early so I packed them up into the double stroller and we were off on a walk. There is a semi new trail near our house. I have always walked out the trail half the amount of time I plan on walking then turn around. Well today I wanted to know what was farther down the trail. I figured we would come to other entrances onto the trail and I could call Pete to come and get us. Not such a good idea. 45 minutes in..."Mama, I am tired of riding in the stroller." "I know, but there has to be an entrance somewhere close," I respond. Just over an hour in there is still no entrance. Marin has been whining all the way. Great! I guess we have a good hour walk back to the house. So we turn around for the long trek back. I let Laina out to burn a bit of her energy. After fast walking for 5 minutes, "Mama, I'm tired." Soback into the stroller. Marin lost a sock somewhere along the way, but no luck finding it on the way back. Marin took Laina's shoe and Laina starts crying because she wants it back, even though she is not currently using it. So the next 10 minutes is Laina crying, luckily there was nobody else around. Finally, I get the great idea to pick Laina a couple flowers...problem solved. Still 30 minutes from home and about ten minutes away from the trail entrance Pete finally called me back (it only took him an hour and a half to worry about his girls). :) I told him where we were so he came and met us halfway, thank goodness. After that I got out for a few minutes to work on some of my Pro Cert stuff (for those of you who don't know I am working on my next teaching certificate, yippee). I couldn't focus for anything. I listened to a group of business men have a meeting in the coffee shop, wondered why two people went into the back room and shut the door, and was curious as to what the coffee lady was going to do next to keep herself busy on not such a busy day of work. So I give up trying to get anything done and head home. The next thing on my list was a pie. As you probably know, making pie is a passion of mine. Something I don't do all of the time, usually just for holidays, but enough to keep perfecting the art. For years now Pete won't let me forget that I very rarely make him chocolate pie and have never made him a rhubarb pie. So today was the day for my first rhubarb pie. It was a difficult task with an annoying 3 year old banging symbols, controlling her baby sister and making a flour mess. While a little closer to the ground I had Marin still whining and not letting go of my legs the whole time. At least I got a beautiful pie after all the trouble and hopefully it tastes good too. To tell you the truth I have never even tasted a rhubarb pie, so Pete will have to be the judge when he gets home from work. It was also my first time doing lattice on top. It was a whole day of firsts.
45: Pete and I celebrated our 7th anniversary last Monday. We took a Sunset Dinner Cruise on lake Coeur d' Alene. It was beautiful and relaxing. We sat on the top of the boat with a nice couple visiting from California. Dinner was your choice of salmon or prime rib. I had the salmon which I thought was delicious. Pete had the prime rib which I tasted, but didn't think it was nearly as good as the salmon. In the beginning the wind was blowing and was a bit chilly, but by the end it had calmed down and was perfect. We saw the sun go down on one side and then a full moon pop up over the mountains on the other side. We also got a special treat. Two other boats on the lake were having a work party and there company bought a whole show of fireworks. The fireworks were right above because the barge was only feet away. We finished off the evening with a tasty cup of hot chocolate. It just sounded good after being chilly on the lake. The girl in the coffee line got quite a kick out of us because we both ordered hot chocolate.
46: Pete and I left the girls with Amma and Papa then drove to Yakima, wine country. Our good friend Monika was getting married at a winery about 25 miles outside of Yakima. It is always crazy not having the girls with us. It takes a bit getting used to because we are always thinking where are the girls, what are they doing? We had a very nice time. Before going to the wedding we had a quiet lunch at a local Indian restaurant. We then walked around downtown a bit before taking a cat nap before getting ready. Before I share the next part of the story let me first say that Pete and I are not very sophisticated people. Pete came and stood in front of me holding his tie. I asked him what he was doing. Turned out he didn't know how to tie a tie and I too didn't know how to tie a tie. I laughed for the next 10 minutes to the point of crying and I had just done my make-up.
47: Anyway, thank goodness for technology and the ipad. I got onto You Tube and learned how to tie a tie in minutes. I must say it didn't turn out bad at all.The wedding was beautiful and the bride was right out of a magazine. The winery was on the top of a rolling hill overlooking fields of grapes. We got to see and visit with an old friend from Great Harvest and had a wonderful evening. While dancing Pete tried to impress us with his dancing talent. Also, the good man that he is, he stuck out there with us even during two of his least favorite songs, a very difficult task for Pete. This morning we got up and headed out. We got home with only 10 minutes left for Pete to get ready to go to work. That was close. Oh yeah, yes there is a picture of power lines in the collection. These pictures were taken on Laina's behalf. She calls these large metal structures robots. So we had to take pictures to share with her.
49: Our good friends Landen and Morgan came to play. We had dinner, made coffee filter flowers and got really dirty. So dirty that a bath had to be taken before doing anything. Pete's friend Tommy, and his daughter Chloe, called him up the other day and invited him and the girls to meet at Manito Park in the water area. Pete said Laina is sort of starting to make her way into the spraying water. She wants to be there, but is so hesitant to go under.
50: Today we went for a hike on Mt. Spokane. We walked on the cross country trails, had a picnic lunch then drove to the very tip top of the mountain. Laina walked the whole way like a champ. She even carried her own backpack with her lunch in it. You will see that she was very proud to carry Widget's poop bag. Mentioning Widget, he had a blast. He was a very happy dog. He was not on the leash so he ran up ahead, turned around to make sure we were still somewhere in his dust then continued on. He ran everywhere and was in heaven. That night he was quite a tired doggy.
53: We had a fabulous family day! It was one of those feel good days when you are happy with everything you have. About a year and a half ago one of my students introduced me to the story of Mudgy and Millie by a Coeur d' Alene author. During that time Laina actually got to meet Mudgy Moose and get her book signed by the author. The story is about a Moose and Mouse wondering around Coeur d' Alene playing hide and seek. They now have a trail set up with 5 moose statues along the way. Since then we have been talking about walking the Mudgy Moose trail, but life happens like getting pregnant and having a baby so we didn't make it to walk the trail until now. Laina was so into the walk and was our guide along the way. She always knew where we were on the map and where we had to go. She also kept and eye out for the signs to make sure we were going the right direction. You will see Laina standing at each moose statue with her fingers held up of which moose we were on. Throughout the story Mudgy is looking for Millie who just happens to be hiding in Mudgy's antlers and doesn't know it. We started out on Tubs Hill where Laina fell and got a scrape on her knee but was so tough and having so much fun she didn't think that much about it. We then moved on to statue #2 which was at the library where we had to take a bathroom break. Moose #3 was on the main street, but on the way we had to stop for lunch and meet a buffalo along the way as well. Then onto moose #4, oh wait...another stop, but this time for Brain Freeze ice cream. Laina shared very nicely with her sister. Now onto moose #4 which we had to walk around the boardwalk and through the park to finally find. At this point Mudgy is tired so he is taking a nap. Laina went into the playground to play with Millie while Mudgy slept. After a bit of time playing we were on our way to the last statue where Mudgy finally sees Millie in his antler because of his reflection in the water of Coeur d‘ Alene Lake. We had a blast finding each statue and Laina was so into the hunt. We ended our perfect day with a perfect dinner in our backyard of salmon, asparagus and rice.
55: We walked around Riverfront Park for a bit. Marin went on the carousel for the very first time. Laina rode on her own for the very first time as well. As we started to move she got scared, held on tighter and said, "I don't was to slip." She did really well though and then said through her teeth, "I like this." I also played housewife on this day. I have made Indian dishes from a box, but never from scratch. My Dad has become an expert and it is Pete's favorite dishes these days so I thought I better try. I make chicken curry, a flavored rice and naan. It didn't turn out as flavorful as it should be and it was a bit runny, but it was edible so I was happy for my first go at it. I also attempted to make some cupcakes we had at the wedding last week. They were the best cupcakes I have ever eaten, but I guess the recipe will not be given up. So, I say attempted because they are nowhere near the deliciousness of the ones I had last week. Back to the drawing board.
57: We had some outdated, dingy looking paint in the bathroom and kitchen. So I have been updating a bit the last several days. Laina has been a big help. :) Actually most of the time she was ok, but at times I was ready to get rid of her. She has no concept of what could happen. All she sees is that is isn't happening right now. At one point I told her to sit down because the paint was right next to her and I didn't want it to spill. Literally 30 seconds later she lost her balance and her whole arm went into the paint. What fun! Other than small obstacles along the way I am so happy with the outcome of both rooms. It feels so nice to have a bit of a change and new feeling. I am especially happy with how much better my Fiestaware looks against a natural color (I know, I am a dork). I have now been researching to figure out how to store my spices on the wall above the stove. I can't believe how expensive it gets so fast.