Sunday, December 25, 2011

And to All a Goodnight

What fun starting Christmas traditions with our new baby!  Josh got Friday off and we packed up sweet little Fynn and drove to North Pole to see Santa at his home.  Since Fynn got croup on Wednesday night, car rides have been even more traumatic, but he held up like a trooper on the way there.  Santa Clause's house was all aflutter and smelling of the amazing fudge, sweets, cocoa and coffee brewing.

Santa was just getting ready to go check on the reindeer out back, so we walked over to the ice park to see this years sculptures and take Fynn down a slide or two.  We pulled him out in a little sled and Josh took him down the big ice slide and I took him in the ice spinning bowl.  He wasn't real thrilled, but tolerated our photographing.

Then we went to meet the big man himself after sampling their homemade fudge and sitting by the roaring fire.  I was worried that Fynn would be afraid (separation anxiety has begun to set in), but he was just cool as a cucumber!  He actually does seem to be more okay with guys with beards than anyone else, now that I think about it!  We read a couple of the letters to Santa posted about, saw the world’s largest Santa outside, and Josh and Fynn sat in Santa’s ice sleigh.

Christmas Eve was fun, too.  Mostly just hanging out around the house during the day, then a service at church that evening.  I kept Fynn back in the sound booth with Josh to avoid spreading any of his croupy germs.  The boys got their Christmas PJs and we hit the hay.

Then it was Christmas!   Josh got up early and got all the presents set up, a fire going and chai tea brewed (so nice!) and we began to go through all the generous gifts that were given.  Fynn made a haul with a bunch of books, a tractor, a train, some CAT trucks, hats, gloves, clothes, and a bookshelf for all his books!  The cats loved the boxes, the dog loved the wrapping paper rolls, and Fynn sure loved the paper!  Again, it’s often the free things…

Josh read Fynn The Story from his Bible book while Fynn intently listened.   Then we made some cinnamon rolls and watched A Christmas Carol while Fynn napped.  When he awoke, he had so much fun playing with all his new toys.  So fun to see the joy on his face!  We (I) decorated the gingerbread house I made with candy from our stockings and later that evening, had a 6 way video chat with my folks, brother, aunts, uncle, Grandpa, and cousins in Washington, North Dakota and South Dakota.  Slightly chaotic, but it made me appreciate technology just for the ability to see everyone, if nothing else.

Dinner was super simple, but yummy: ham, mashed potatoes, salad, sparkling pear and strawberry cider, and chocolate cream pie for desert.  Fynn played with some Cheerios and ate homemade yams and rice with pears for dessert.   Fynn was pretty wiped and fell asleep quickly after reading one of his new books.  And now I’m listening to Josh pick some carols on his guitar as I write.  What a fun season, but most importantly, what a reminder to be grateful for Jesus’ choice to come to give us hope!  A merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Just some Journaling

I find myself measuring distances by what songs I'll have to sing to get there without Fynn crying.  He's always hated riding in the car, but we've discovered recently that he'll calm down if we're singing one of his favorite songs: those with funny noised.  We were able to add "The Wheels on the Bus" to our repitoir this last week.

So we drove one "wheels" and half an "old McDonald" to the store to get a gift for my friend's bachelorette party this weekend an to pick up some photos.  Then a "yodeler" to an assisted living facility to do some visiting.  Then  half a "yodeler," and a "Lilly the pink" to get to the post office, then just a quarter "McDonald" home. =)

Fairbanks is such a unique place.  We've not even been here 3 years and already I'm forgetting that.  It wasn't too cold this morning (only 5 above) but totally still.  That stillness caused a little bit of ice fog on the way into town.  When we were coming home at noon, we caught a couple rays of sunshine as we topped the tallest hill on our drive.  The sun just barely peaks above the horizon these days.  And then there's snow.  Lots of it, but it's dry unlike the Washington slush I grew up with.  The land is harsh, but the people are so friendly and warm.

The sun was just barely peaking above the horizon  to the south at about noon when we were coming home.  The light is just so beautiful as it reflects off the snow.  The colder the weather, the better the roads.  They're slicker than snot when it's close to freezing, but when it gets really cold the ice gets thick and tacky and provides much better traction.  Also, the snow fills in the potholes! =)  It's fun experiencing it with Fynn now too.  He seems to actually like the cold, but gets so grouchy if he's too hot.  Ah, my little Alaskan laddie!

I'm finding that Fynn's favorite toys right now are the free things: big wooden spoons, a plastic cup, an empty wipes package...the best!  He is sure trying to crawl!  It's so much fun to watch: he'll lift up his chest, then his rump, then sort of rock back and forth until he crashes.  Actually he's really trying to walk too.  I'll hold his hands as he stands in front of me an he'll take a couple steps forward, then throw his head back to look at me with his mouth wide open and grinning and his eyes all a sparkling like, "Wow! Did you see that!"  And he's frequently talking up a storm these days, too.  I long to know what he's trying to communicate!

Friday Fun Finds: Teething Jewelry

Little Fynn seems like he's been teething forever.  You can feel the little bumps, but no teeth.  Not that I'm in a rush, it just seems miserable for him sometimes.  And everything goes in the mouth, making any jewelry a bit of a challenge.  I found these a couple days ago (and added one belatedly to my Christmas wish list!): what a fun idea!  They're perfectly safe for baby to chew on and still look nice!  Dear Santa...

Monday, December 12, 2011

O, Christmas Tree

Josh got this past Saturday off, so we bundled up the baby, took off behind the house a ways and lopped off the top of a Black Spruce for our Christmas tree (we cut up the rest of it for firewood).  For those who have not experienced Alaska, these spruce are a unique sort of tree.  They are one of the very few that grow on the permafrost ground and sort of look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.  But the skinny tree fits better in our cabin and has more room for ornaments and presents! =)

Neither Fynn nor Clancey were too sure about the chainsaw, but really enjoyed the rest of the walk.  We got the tree thawed out and were able to decorate it after church yesterday while drinking peppermint cocoa (me) and spiced Russian wine (that would be my eclectic husband) and listening to Trans Siberia Orchestra.   Fynn was just in awe and so wanted to help with the ornaments!  I love seeing his wonder at this season and I can’t wait to teach him what it’s all really about!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Fun Finds

Okay, so when Fynn is just mildly upset, his cry literally sounds like "boo, boo, boo" and his sticks his lower lip out...  How can I not grin as my heart melts yet again!

So I thought it might be fun to share something not my own once and again (honestly, these will probable be mostly from Pinterest).  Thus is from Marli Grace's blog and I can't get over how gorgeous this room is.  I love it!  You can find the rest of my dream home pictures here: 

Great Big Christmas Stocking

Busy week!  Josh is still working six 12 hour shifts getting equipment ready to transport to Prudhoe Bay, so we've been missing him.  Monday I was getting stuff done around the house and fell down the stairs while holding Fynn.  He slid a couple more on his own.  Oh man, I can't get the nightmare of a scene out of my head and I can't describe how awful I feel.  Little boys should get bumps and bruises that they cause themselves and learn lessons from, not because their mommma dropped them!  I could see he bonked his head in three spots.  Oh, and I think I prayed harder than I ever had before.  And Fynn stopped crying and I knew God had protected him!   We got him checked out at Urgent Care just to be diligent, but by this time he was flirting and smiling with the nurses again.
Tuesday I had my CPR/AED re-cert, Wednesday I worked, power-cleaned the house, and had Bible study, and today I got that steroid injection in the inflamed tendon in my wrist.  Fun times!  But, Fynn slept 9 hours straight last night, so we're both feeling pretty good today. After I got home I started to make Fynn's stocking (pattern below).
I got Josh and his buddy some coffee on my way into town this morning and saw raspberry chai on the menu.  I just had to try it and it was amazing!  Totally gave me a better outlook on life!  Sometimes, even when life is so good for me in general, I see that this world is just not fit for life and I long for heaven.  So many sad happenings.  But a raspberry chai reminded me that God does still have good things in store for us here while we actively wait for Him.

Okay, so for the pattern, you're going to need to print out these 2 pages: (You can click on these thumbnails and they will open full size, or adjust as necessary before printing.  Then line up at the arrows)

Other supplies:
  • 1/2 yard of back fabric
  • 1/2 yard of front fabric
  • Other fabric as desired (If you're using the same pattern as the back, you should have enough in the 1/2 yard
  • 1 yard piping or ribbon
  • Thread for machine
  • May need embroidery floss and needle

You could do a bunch of variations of this ,but you will need at least one full cut out of the whole thing, two if you want both sides completely plain. (Make sure your fabrics are facing the right way!)  If not, then cut out one of each A, B, C, and D for the cuff, heel and toe.  Be sure to add just about a quarter inch where they connect for seam overlap.  You can choose your variations, just cuff, just heel/toe, etc.

I am by no means a seamstress, but I thought I'd try to figure this one out on my own as I couldn't find a stocking for Fynn that I liked.  I was making Fynns to be similar to these that Josh's folks got for us a couple years back:

Okay, once you have all the pieces cut out, completely assemble the front.  Sew the cuff, heel and toe onto the sock body.  Then fold the cuff back at the top and sew in place so that your top edge is the fold.  You don't have to worry about folding edges or anything if you do a zig zag stitch across the seam, the piping or ribbon will cover it.  Which brings us to you next step.  Since the piping I used was so bulky, I tacked it in place by hand every inch or using an invisible stitch with embroidery floss.  Front complete!

I had to double check that my back fabric was going to be facing the right way, then did the same top hem as on the front, making sure that the height was just a smidgen lower so it would be invisible when hung empty.  Then put the outside faces together and sew all but the to opening.  For this step I had to "jump" over every section of the piping because it kept making my sewing machine angry. =)  I then went back and sewed over these sections by hand also.

Before you turn it inside out, take a loop of your remaining piping and sew it into the back corner to hang on a hook on your mantle.  Flip it inside out and fill with lots of Christmas goodies!  I realized mine was a bit bunchey, but after I ironed it out, it was much better.