Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween in the snow-anchorage style

So one of the perks of being an Alaskan bambino is that there is almost always snow on Halloween. So kids trick or treat in full snow gear and you can barely see their costumes.

This year Ocoee is 13 months and 1 day old so we planned a full evening off activities. First hubby met me at we daycare for a parade and trick or treating in each room. The kids received healthy snacks and I made mini chocolate chip pumpkin cupcakes or her class. If you haven't seen a daycare full of kids in costume your missing out. They are ridiculously cute. One kiddo I saw was dressed as a hamburger, when I said this he corrected me and said No! I am a cheeseburger. Funny and tasty! Our daycare is also where some of our friends go so we got to see their little ones all dressed up. It was packed with parents and was a good time for the kiddos.

We walked a few blocks to humpys for a adult beverage and dinner and them had planned to head to the zoo boo event at the zoo. But Ocoee and hubby were running out of energy and let's face it- that place would have been a zoo! Instead we swung by our friend Nancy's house for a pre-trick or treat gathering. They had decorated the house very spookily and the kids were all decked out. Ocoee loved watching the big kids and playing with their toys. We snapped a few Picts, had a glass of wine and zipped home for bedtime while the others raked in the candy.

Ocoee looked sweet as can be in her flower outfit. I picked it up before she was even born and have had it all this time. Her name means passion flower so it suited her quite well.

Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Phases

Ocoee one year ago!

Hubby and I are trying to adjust to the new phase that Ocoee is in. Once she hit one she morphed from a baby to a toddler overnight. She has take first steps for both hubby and I. The first one was for hubby during a night of long conferences at school and I missed it! I was devastated that I missed this big milestone. Yesterday though she stood up and pivoted and took a step to the ottoman. I was thrilled. She was nonplussed. 

She could easily walk all over the house is she wanted too. She can stand on her own and loves to push her walker all over. The problem is motivation. Today she is 13 months and simply does not feel the need to walk.....yet. The steps began because she has started enjoying carrying her clothes around snuggled up to her like a blankie or doll. If we give her a blankie or stuffed animal she tosses them aside without so much as a blink of the eye....but her clothes she loves to cuddle.....have I created a clothes horse already?

Since she is carrying her clothes she can't crawl as well and has learned she can take steps and that is easier. I know she is so close to being a real walker. It is exciting but also makes me nervous. I spent the day yesterday making the house more kid friendly and interesting to her. I rotated her toys and gave her a drawer in the kitchen with fun things to play with. We went through the spice rack smelling different spice. The kid like to EXPLORE!

I also want to vent. Ocoee took swim lessons when I was on maternity leave and loved it. The pool was really warm for babies and it was perfect before Hawaii. Since we will be in Hawaii again in a few months I wanted to get her in the pool again. All of the classes available at warm pools are during the day. No weekends or evening. Same for kindermusic. We want these activities for Ocoee but they are only offered for stay at home moms. Mommma and me yoga....daytime only. GRRRR! 

Since we got a few inches of snow last night I think we will sit and carve pumpkins in the snow. Tomorrow is a busy day with a Halloween party at daycare, zoo boo at the zoo and a Halloween party at a friends after. Last year she was only a month old so we didn't do much....this year will be more fun!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What is for dinner??.....Weekly dinners

My husband and I used to spend lots of time running to the grocery or trying to decide what was for dinner. We finally sat down and came up with a weekly dinner list.

The way the list works there is some flexibility but never the question what is for dinner. I am actually able to plan dinners easier and use the same ingredients in several meals. These means there is less waste, since we use the food quicker and it doesn't go bad. Living in Alaska means the food is already traveling a long ways to get to us so using it soon is a must. We do buy local as much as we can but there is only so much that grows in Alaska.

Here is our weekly Menu

Monday-Egg Night
Sat-Free to do whatever
Sunday-Stir fry 

These are more themes than meals. We have tons of different pizza meals we make. Some use homemade pizza dough, some use store bought dough, lavosh crackers or flat breads. It depends on what we have. We always have a good variety of cheeses and toppings around because they can be used in tacos, soups and stir fry the other nights. We do Monday as egg night because it is easy. Mondays blow.....totally. So to make life a little better we can come home to an easy meals. We do egg sandwiches, egg salad, caesar salad and eggs with grits often. There is variety but structure.....this is me in a nut shell.

This works well for us. Eating dinner together is important. We turn off the tv, cells and sit down together and eat. Ocoee is in her high chair....she usually does not last the whole meal but it is still family time. We can do something easy for most nights or more elaborate if the cooking inspiration hits. We have been on this schedule for 2 months now and I am very pleased with the amount of time I don't spend last minute grocery shopping or looking for ideas. It does save us money as well since we are able to stock up and buy sale items. We are blessed to have a freezer full of wild caught fish but we also purchase local Alaskan shrimp when it is on sale and sometime splurge on Tuna. We eat out from time to time as well.

What are your family meals like? I'll try to post some recipes as well. Tonight is taco night. We are doing shrimp tacos, delicious and full of iron!


Saturday, October 20, 2012


Happy October everyone. I love the fall. It means football, hot tea, fires, cozy sweaters and pumpkins. I am totally excited because this year Ocoee is older and can appreciate the festivities. Here below are photos from Grandma's visit for Ocoee's birthday and our visit to the Palmer Reindeer Farm.

Kids in Alaska are so lucky, not only do we have the North Pole ( a city further north than Anchorage; not the actual north pole),  but we also have reindeers. The farm does not make reindeer dogs so these reindeers live for kids petting them and free carrots.

The day we went was cloudy and the wind storms lately had taken most of the leaves away so it was not as pretty as it can be, but we found time for pictures anyway......always time for a photo op right?

 The farm has elk, bison and reindeer. Even though Ocoee was super cranky and tired the whole ride once we got around the animals she was very interested and smiley.

So a disclaimer, the farm does not grow the pumpkins......this was pretty lame I thought, but we bought one anyways. Kinda funny how they scattered the pumpkins in the field like they were growing. I don't think Ocoee minded though.

When it came time to carve the pumpkin Ocoee tried to eat the whole pumpkin several times, and was all over daddy trying to help out. She liked feeding the seeds to the chickens. Pumpkin seeds are like crack for chickens...who knew.

We baked the pumpkin and pureed it for Ocoee's food. We mix it with yogurt and cottage cheese which she devours. She has eaten so much in the last few weeks I really thought she might get a little orange tint.....but heck a girl takes color anyway she can get it in Alaska.


Play time

With Ocoee playtime often involves more household objects and random things like empty toilet paper rolls than toys. Though she is a master block stacker these days and has a bunch of fun toys from her birthday. She loves using her wood pecker walker and cruising around holding on to things but resists walking. I figure she will get to it when she wants to bad enough. She knows how to physically but doesn't see the need yet

She is very cuddly and when she isn't feeling very well she is more tender and wants to be held a lot. She also has a little devilish side to her. She loves to throw things off her high chair and over the railing from upstairs.

I make this funny sound where I stick my tongue out and she loves to imitate this. The result is hilarious.

Watching her silly baby behavior always makes me smile and remember how luck we are to have her.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall in the park-Family Photos

We splurged to get family photos this year since it was Ocoee's first year celebration. The photographer, Sugar Six, is awesome and has taken my maternity and Ocoee's newborn photos.

We had to reschedule a few times due to crummy weather and the trees were a bit past their prime, with lots of the leaves being blown away but it turned out pretty great. The best part was we were outdoors and since it was a mini session, it only lasted 30 minutes.

No I am not the type of mother who lets her one year old run around in the grass without shoes.....I am just the type whose daughter is really good and shucking shoes off! She didn't mind the chilly ground on her toes at all.

Ocoee is wearing a dress from jcrew and leggings from target in a thick cable knit.

Here Ocoee has her shoes back on. If you notice us holding her hands in lots of photos it is because we are trying to keep her from sucking her thumb. She sucks her thumb often when she is in a new situation and the photographer was new to her....daddy holding her hands looks cute though.

I love the two above. I wanted our outfits and poses to look like us, casual and laid back. The colors are traditional and look nice against the fall colors. I wanted to look coordinated but not too matchy-matchy, and not overly trendy since that will date the photos quicker.

Looking at the one of me and Ocoee makes me smile. My little girl is growing up so fast. She is very cuddly and loving these days and holding her against me with her head on my shoulder and her body curved into me is my favorite part of the day.

A the real Ocoee comes out! Her laugh face is funny!!!

Mike was told to throw her as high as he felt comfortable....which was not very high...she loves being tossed about though so she was squealing hysterically.

This last one is sorta good....if my hand didn't look like a claw and if Ocoee wasn't pulling my hair. But her smile is perfect in this one so I had to show it.

Now we can be really cheesy and send xmas photos with our family picture on it......because people like pictures better than some Hallmark moment.