Friday, March 29, 2013

In Memory of Love- Our free spirited dog

Sitting on the table in Medicine Bow National Park, WY, ready to run around and play and showing off her cat like behavior.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

It's spring!!

Alaska celebrated spring with snow. A blizzard was expected but we barely crossed an inch on our east side of town home.

On Friday since I and Ocoee were recoverers from sickness (hubby is still feeling rough) I picked her up from daycare and headed to the museum to play for a bit in the imaginarium kids space. When we arrived we headed to the snack atrium to get a snack and check out local school kids artwork. Ocoee loved their creative art pieces and drank my pelligreno water instead of her milk. We were pretty interesting with me drinking her milk and her drinking my sparkling water.

She played in the kids space for awhile. She really seemed to enjoy it more than a few months ago. Her development is pretty cool to witness. She loved the bubbles and ball maze most.

We also did out annual REI stock up this weekend. Thanks to gift certificates, our annual dividend from REI and a coupon we were able to get some awesome gear. We got Ocoee a bike helmet and trailer to pull behind our bikes. We also got a camp chair as can use, new jet boil and other camping gear. Ocoee was thrilled with the new helmet and wore it all over REI as we shopped and at home the rest of the day. Thanks grandma for the wonderful gift card!! I am now looking forward to a true spring when all the snow and ice is broken up and we can bike.

One week until Easter. Still making plans on how to celebrate.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Break 2013-Staycation

We decided to stay in Alaska for spring break this year because the economist at Alaska Airlines have figured out they can charge an arm, leg and foot for their tickets the day school is out. Since we are limited to travel during school breaks we pay the price! Skipping it this year turned out to be wonderful since the weather was in our favor!

A few girlfriends and I rented a house and headed to the Alyeska Lodge for a few days down the road in Girdwood (about a 45 minute drive). The trip was a lot of fun, we had 3 older kids and Ocoee with us three moms. There was work involved with all the gear for winter sports and kids but it was all worth it. You can check out my friend Staci's account on her blog here.

She is a great writer and always makes me laugh and sometime cry! We all lean on each other for help, parenting advice and good girlfriend times.

The highlight of the staycation besides the weather was Ocoee swimming in the salt water pool at the lodge. She floats so well in the saltwater and was a maniac for the swimming. She clocked in over 2 hours each day leaving her a very tired baby by the end. I didn't get any pictures as I was busy swimming and enjoying the time. Here are some pictures from the week below.

 All decked out for St. Patty's day party.
 Walking with Staci on the slippery ice!

 Group shot of the kiddos post snowball fights.

 In beautiful Moose Meadows with the Chugach Mountains behind.

 Enjoying her new sled!

 My little bambino was such a trooper keeping up with the big kids!

 Hubby and I after Ocoee was off to bed celebrating at the St. Patty's Day party.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring break

We had the most glorious weather for spring break. Here are a few Picts. Will blog more later.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

No screen time until 3

So if you have read my blog before you know I am a huge reader or parenting books. I know from having read every sleep, baby and brilliant child book for the first 2 years of baby's life that they can often contradict each other and some things are just common sense.

I particularly like the books that focus on brain research and development. I am currently reading, The Whole-Brain Child, and boy is it perfect timing. We see Ocoee having completely illogical reactions that are purely emotional. For instance, the other day her dad brought her car seat in to adjust the straps since she is growing so fast. She usually hates being in her car seat. This time she wanted to sit in it and be strapped in. She cried and was very upset when he had to take her out to flip it over and work on it. Though we didn't get it, she was having a very emotional reaction to her car seat and needing to be in it.

One thing that I am a firm believer in and that we have also managed to do pretty easily is no screen time before 3.

So I must admit that at age 15 months on the 6 hour plane ride to Hawaii we did use the ipad with Ocoee. We have one app she loves that is music and simple graphics that are interactive, we have an ebook for kids and we used the camera to make videos and share them with her. We did limit this to 5 or so minutes at a time and to be honest she was only sorta into it. She also gets videos from her grandparents that she can watch, and these are a few seconds long.

At home we never have the TV on when she is awake and recently cancelled cable so we never have the TV on anyways. We read and watch movies from Netflix in our free time at night after Ocoee is in bed. We don't miss TV and see the benefits in our lives of not having it around and also in Ocoee's development.

She loves to read books and is getting to the age where she likes to flip through them herself, babbling away and we know her imagination is beginning to take off. She also sleeps great and some research has indicated screen time causes poor sleep habits. One of the biggest things about no screen time is that she will not be exposed to the stereotypes and fanatic push to BUY, BUY, BUY that comes with commercials. We never eat fast food, our friends aren't fast food people and she never sees commercials for fast food. So hopefully she will not have the desire for a happy McNasty meal ever.

Since we are rookies at this it is nice to see how our research has led to a choice and the choice is working out well.

So what are your opinions on screen time for kids under 3? What apps do your kids love. Ocoee's favorite is Little Fox Juke Box that plays 3 songs and allows her to tap to make things happen. By far the best app we have found.


Saturday, March 2, 2013


Like most families we cram fun, chores and relaxation into out two precious days off. Here is how our weekend has been shaking down.

Friday at 2 I am officially in weekend mode. I drive to Ocoee's daycare already the stress of middle schoolers and grading melting away. Picking her up from daycare is always such a joy. I am the hero of the moment and get to watch her eyes light up at seeing me. I scoop her up and cover her in kisses. I do try to pause and watch her from outside the window because like most parents I am curious to how she acts when I am not around.

Also her daycare is awesome. The kids are always engaged and the skills they work on are very noticeable when she is home.

Next we drive a few blocks to pick up daddy from work for a short adventure to check out the snow sculptures down by ship creek. These are pretty awesome and part of the Fur Rondy celebration that last two weeks and is kinda like a family friendly version of Mardi Gras. It all leads up to the Iditarod.

Our favorite snow sculptures were the star wars one and the moose hunting the hunter. How they transform snow into these amazing sculptures blows my mind.

We drop hubby back at work and head home to start dinner. Dinner time is important to us and we try to sit down together for dinner every night. Friday is pizza or pasta night for us.

The meal was delicious, especially after a ten day cleanse where I ate only fruit and veggies. We had crab stuffed pasta with Parmesan and truffle oil with a Cesar salad and fresh bread. A bottle of vino kicked relaxation into gear.

Ocoee helped cooked as always and we all sat down for dinner by 5:30. This is the crunch time after dinner. Bug has a bath and plays in her room for a few minutes before bed. She sleeps like a champ but goes down early by 6:30 or 7.

After Ocoee is asleep hubby and I have some time to chat and catch up. We both read a bit then pop in a movie. We were pretty exhausted and only made it through half of the subtitled French film, chicken and plum. By 11:30 we called it quits and crashed.

Saturday morning we all sleep in and then spend an hour or so sitting around the kitchen table drinking tea while Ocoee brings us books to read. By 10 we were off to Goose Lake down the road to watch the dogs sleds of the Iditarod race by. It is great fun to watch the sleds come around the corner up on two rails while people cheer and the mushers toss dog booties to the kids. Ocoee yelled doggie each time. We saw Lance Mackey cruise by with a beer in hand shouting cheers tithe crowd. I guess winning it several times allows you to be more relaxed!

After watching the dog sleds we headed home for Ocoee's nap. Then our buddy Kraig came over with his daughter to xc ski. Kayla watched Ocoee while we all went out on the most perfect sunny march day ever. The sun was strong and skies were sparkling blue. We are lucky to be able to cross country ski right out our door.

Now Ocoee is bathing while I blog. I whipped up a tasty egg bake from our chicken eggs or dinner and some oatmeal cookies for dessert. It has been a nice family oriented weekend. I love these !!

Now I didn't mention the baskets of laundry, cleaning chores and poopy diapers because really when you look back that all seems to melt away and you remember the smiles and fun moments