Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bits and Pieces

I think it's safe to say, that around here, it has been a lot of the same lately. Someone hit the repeat button and our track plays on the same day after day, carrying out the mundane tasks that keep us forever propelled in that forward motion.

It sure looks like we spend quite a bit of time sans clothes, but for the record, I usually have mine on, usually.

Unlike my Wyatt, who seems to need to be naked just to perform ordinary tasks, like eating, or taking a nap. But our allowed to be naked years are short, so I allow it. Plus how cute is a tiny little heiny running around the house?

I uploaded these pictures this morning, yet I've had to think all day about what to day. I suppose I really just wanted to share some pictures, so I apologize if this seems a little disjointed and scattered.

My mind has been running on overdrive lately. We've reached the midterm point for the semester and I'm happy to say that I have a 4.0. But with so much time spent with my head in a textbook, or my fingers pounding out a paper, I've wanted something creative to do, something a little more fun.

And it just so happened, in perfect timing, that one of the blogs I follow was doing a sew-along. So I decided, sure, why not. But now I have this beautiful completed project, with no one to put in it, because I made, my very first, little dress.

I absolutely love it! I wasn't sure about the fabric that I chose, but it's perfect. It makes my heart wish just a little bit harder that one day we will have a little girl to put in it, but just in case we never do, I made sure to try it on the only model I have who wouldn't object. Let's just say it fits an 8 month old boy perfectly...

And speaking of that perfect eight month old boy...he's the proud new owner of two bright, pearly white chompers. It is an almost impossible task to get a good clear picture of those first teeth nubs soon after they break free. But me being so wild and crazy, I tried.

The first attempt was close, but not quite, but I got lost in those deep blue eyes of his anyways.

And then I tried again after his bath, which only led to that little face scrunching up and his little bottom lip curling down in the cutest of frowns, followed by his "my world is falling apart" wail. But there they are, in all their glory, his little first teeth.

After I was done torturing him, I picked him up, wrapped in his soft white towel, and he wrapped his little arm around mine. And I told him that if he wanted to stop growing, I was ok with that, but I don't think he heard me..

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mush On

I may often complain about the icy cold, that somehow finds its way between the threads and seeps into my bones. And the darkness that seems to drag on forever. But balancing out that cold and dark, is the never ending beauty that is the landscape of Alaska.

The experience of trudging down to a snow covered frozen river, while fluffy white snowflakes drift down from the sky, to be part of a welcome team for one frost covered musher and his team of dogs as they cross the finish line in the Yukon Quest, is one of the experiences that my son, will come to think of as normal.

watching as the dogs crossed the finish line

Being able to get his hands on those worn out doggies, rub his glove covered fingers over their ice crusted faces, while whispering "good job doggies" in their ears, while spotlights illuminate the dark winter night, priceless.

After days of watching the online live tracker for the Yukon Quest, trying to find a musher that Wyatt would be awake for, the opportunity finally presented itself. I bundled him up and topped him off with his beaver fur hat, and we drove down to the river bank. The night was quiet, but a celebratory mood was spreading through the small crowd starting to form. We made our way down the steep trail to the banks of the Chena River, and found ourselves a spot, a front row view to watch Jodi Bailey, and her team of dogs, arrive home.

playing on a footbridge that overlooks the finish line while waiting for the musher to arrive

As she pulled in, to a crowd shouting and clapping, Wyatt quickly said "let's go!" and followed in behind her, in hot pursuit of the finish line himself. I quickly caught him by his hood, and redirected his little eager self around the other end of the gate. He stood just inches from the dogs, waiting, watching, before one of the handlers said, "go ahead, love on them!" And boy did he. Since it was so dark, my pictures aren't great. But he went from dog, to dog, stroking their heads and worn out bodies, leaning in and giving some of them hugs, for him it was magical.

Today, temperatures climbed to that tropical above zero mark. And I checked the tracker, just to see, since I knew the last four mushers were coming in today. One musher, was just 4 miles out. We bundled up again, this time inviting Daddy and Ben along, and headed down. This time around, Wyatt was the pro, he'd done this before. He showed Daddy the way down, scooting his little blue snow-suited bottom down the embankment, his hat slipping down over his eyes every few scoots. We waited and played, as once again that crystal like dust fell from the sky. When we heard "there he is" Wyatt quickly fell into place, his eyes transfixed as the dogs made their final approach.

The dogs tails wagged madly, high on the run and applause, and Wyatt shouted, "yay hamburgers!" as the handlers threw lumps of meat to the dogs. You could tell that they were quite happy to be within minutes of a nice long, well deserved, rest.

I like to think that we are lucky. Lucky to call this place our home; to experience the beauty and opportunity that this land presents; for our boys to see things that many kids will only read about... Lucky to be content, to live in a portrait of exquisite awesomeness that is our backyard, Alaska.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fancy Pants and Other Shiny Things

You spend hours on your knees, coaxing them your way with shiny objects, high pitched sing songy name calling and enough praise to make someones head explode. And then...they take off.

After the pain in my cheeks had worn away from smiling so hard, I retreated to the kitchen to finish making the dinner that was abandoned when Wyatt called out "he's going!" And proceeded to smack his lips and snap his fingers as if he was calling a dog.

Thirty short seconds and a loud crash later, I remembered that not only is a crawling baby more fun, but also more work. But he seems so tickled with himself. So determined to catch up to his ball of fire brother and be a part of the action.

Sometimes I just want bottle his littleness, keep it forever, and hold him in my arms until his head relaxes and sinks into my arm, and his little pouty bottom lip hangs open like it does when he's deep asleep. Then kiss that little trying to grow hair head of his and soak it all in.

And lately I find myself doing a lot of peering around corners, and spying over the half wall into the living room, because something is developing around here. Something I've been dreaming of since day one when I first held Ben's slippery little body against my chest and Wyatt leaned in and kissed that minutes old wrinkled forehead. It's a little bit of camaraderie, right here on the very floor that just so recently was battleground central when it came to toys. Wyatt's will pass toys in Ben's direction (of course while stealing others) and say in the sweetest big brother voice at the first whimper sound out of Ben's mouth, "it's ok brother, Wyatt's here."

I'm such a sap, and I've been waiting for this, dreaming of the day that they will go zipping from room to room, leaving an explosion of toys in their wake. And granted, I may be getting a little ahead of myself here, but the magic is starting. And as Wyatt snapped and whistled for Ben to follow him to his room, Ben so happily obliged, lifting his little chubby knees as fast as he could, flashing his little toothless grin in Wyatt's direction.

I am one happy Mama, and although my little babies may be ever so rapidly transforming, changing and growing, I know that pretty soon, my arms will be full with brand new, tiny and pink little bundles of newborn baby, because I currently have 13 friends expecting this spring and summer, lucky 13. I can't wait to hold those little babies and feel their little fingers curl over mine as friends exclaim across the room about how tiny they are and that there is no way my babies were ever this small. Friends and babies are two of the best gifts in life, and when combined - an overload of love, truly one of the best things in life.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Faster Then a Speeding Bullet

Oh how I would love to sit and relax and watch the world pass by at a slow and comfortable crawling along pace. Yet for some reason, I hopped on the speeding bullet train instead, and the days fly by at an alarmingly fast pace, all the while my hair whipping in the wind behind me, and my to-do list flying right out the window. Because after all, who has time for to do lists.

This crazy train that I happened to accidentally on purpose board, was school. I do love it though. I love the structure that it adds to my day, the challenges it provides for my mind, and I even enjoy the little break that it gives me from the boys (shhh!) I love finding that crazy hectic that balances out the slow and mundane. It makes that don't get dressed until noon, nothing to do Sunday, seem almost like a day lounging in the sun with my feet dipped into a crystal clear ocean water. Ok not quite, not even close, but it really makes me appreciate the downtime. The curl up on the couch, haven't even thought about combing my hair type of downtime.

And if anything, school helps me prioritize my week. Although school usually falls somewhere near the bottom after the boys, Justin, sleep and coffee, at least it makes the list.

And now as we move into February, and the sun is lingering just a little longer in the cloudy gray sky. And that little red line on the thermometer is climbing, stretching, reaching, trying to hit the 20 degree mark (for now at least), and we, well we are soaking it in. The phrase most commonly heard around here most mornings is "Wyatt go outside play catch snow!?" Of course this is usually asked while he is stark naked except for a pair of cars winter boots on his chubby little feet. But we delay, and delay, with puzzles and books, and a little Go, Diego, Go. And then...we go outside.

The driveway and yard can be transformed into a different world through the mind of a two year old. He'll dig and crawl and make snow angels, and Ben watches from my arms, bundled up to an almost impossible to move stiffness, giggling with delight at his older brother's antics.

Our plate is quite full these days, but with a full plate, comes a full cup, and that is what feeds my soul on gray winter days, and fuels the fire when we need to burn the candle at both ends and just make it through the crazy -when-does-this-ride-stop week.

It's all about least that's what I tell myself.
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