Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

Another year gone, another year here.
I realize that everyone says this, but really... where does the time go?
365 days just fly by.
How am I supposed to keep my kiddos young, relish the time I have with them where everyone is still innocent & sweet when 12 months is over just as soon as it begins? 
I did not authorize this to happen.

Looking back, 2012 year was a milestone year for sure.  With our newborn growing by leaps & bounds and becoming a toddler, our middle princess turning an enormous corner with her speech & beginning a new communication preschool class that she loves, and finally, our new kindergartner who has begun to read & do arithmetic while also enjoying basketball & soccer.  They are each growing up so fast... while Brian and I are trying not to forget a moment of it all.
2013 is sure to hold some new adventures & milestones for all of us.  Although a great deal of uncertainty is in the immediate future for us with the Air Force - whether to retire or continue the journey - we are certain that whatever happens & whatever decisions we make will be the right ones for our family.  Some times those kind of decisions & changes are scary and stressful, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel with all new adventures on the other side.  So, time will tell us soon.  Meanwhile, we are anxious to watch Thomas, Abbigail and Marilyn continue to grow, explore & learn while we take advantage of what Alaska has to offer and while I am still a stay-at-home mom! 
I've never really been a fan of "resolutions".  Instead, I prefer to set goals. 
So for 2013, I have a few goals that I want to focus on and aim towards:
  1. Run races this year.  More specially a 5K, 10K and 1/2 marathon.  Yeap... I'm putting it out there in writing... I'm running a 1/2 marathon this year.
  2. Listen more attentively to each of my children and husband and talk (and yell) less.
  3. Make time each day that's my own - be it a hot shower, a drive alone, reading a book or even blogging (*gasp*) during nap time.

Happy New, friends & loved ones!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lessons for our children

Parenting is tough. I'm always worrying, praying and hoping that I'm doing a good job and that I'm teaching my kids the things they will need to know to grow into kind, thoughtful, responsible adults who celebrate and appreciate life every day. But what exactly is it I want them to know to accomplish that goal? Some days it seem like all I do is remind, reprimand, and refuse ("No, you can't do that" is a common refrain at our home.)

Everyday we teach our children something.
 Sometimes it's the big lessons in life. Like kindness and generosity and forgiveness.
And sometimes it's the small, yet still big, ones like "Which one is worse, Mom? The F-word (fart) or the B-word (barf)?"
My mind has been wandering lately on what lessons for our children we provide daily... and for the long haul in life. It's not a complete list, and not nearly as poetically profound as I'd like it to be, but here is a short list of what I hope we have/will teach our children.
  • love one another and to say "I love you" often
  • from the time they were a newborn, teaching them how to sleep through the night - and even more importantly, sleep in their own beds in their own rooms.
  • sharing with siblings and friends, apologizing when you are wrong, being a good sport, listening to what others are saying
  • being honest and telling what really happened
  • table manners - chewing with mouth closed, elbows off the back of the chair, "please & thank yous"
  • brush your teeth... don't just suck the toothpaste off the brush (nightly battle in our house).
  • that sometimes we just need to calm down & cool off with a time out
  • helping around the house - my kids have their own laundry basket in their rooms in which they put (most of the time) dirty clothes go in (and not on the floor); when I'm doing laundry & ask, they will bring their baskets to the laundry room, they help put their own clean clothes away (obviously this is helping and not doing all themselves); pick their spoons, forks and placemat for meal time & then bring their dirty dishes to the sink themselves; help clean up toys.
  • Trying a new food (sometimes several times over)
  • Homework is an extension of what they have learned at school and is good practice.  Both my kindergartner and preschooler (for speech) do their homework at our kitchen table.  We help read directions, encourage, check over and praise often & sincerely.
  • Being safe in the car (with seat belts always), playing away from the street, not talking to/going with/taking anything from strangers.
  • that your brother and/or sister(s) will be your friends for life.
  • We love you unconditionally!  


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Girly 'cuts

Although it may not seem it (especially since she had her back mullet-like babydo cut in mid-October), Marilyn was due for a real, first-ever, big-girl haircut.  She had "twigs" stick'in up every which direction and a new baby mullet growing again.
Looking like my sweet baby girl

 Twiggies stick out from the ears
 The entire time, Marilyn just sat back, relaxing and enjoying the salon experience.
What 19-month old does this?  On her first real haircut at that.

Still my baby girl, but looking much more polished... and much more like a toddler.
 Bonus - Abby got a cute little haircut to go with all her new little hair bows.

 And double bonus of the day?
Mommy got her haircut too.  I figured why not do it when the kids are enjoying themselves with all the toys they had AND there was no one else waiting in line!  And let me tell YOU... this Mama was in dire need of a haircut... it had been more than 6 months.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Christmas Leftovers

Instead of Friday Night Leftovers this week, I thought it more appropriate to have a different version - The Christmas Leftovers.  Here's a glimpse at the presents, the headaches, the cleanup & the treats!
  1. Present requiring the most batteries - Digital Light Designer Art Canvas (4 "Ds")... and we didn't even have the darn "D" batteries!
  2. Present requiring the most man Daddy hours to put together/assemble so it is operational - it's a tie between downloading apps and customizing the two new Tablets/Pads and building a Erector Set dune buggy with Thomas.
  3. Biggest surprise of a present - the cardboard Abby Cadabby Wings that came as an extra in one of Abby's presents.  She wore them A-L-L D-A-Y long. 
  4. Biggest surprise present for Mommy - a new laptop/notebook!
  5. Present requiring the most creative wrapping - Light up Fairy Wings
  6. Gifts that made it into stockings this year were - play dough, reading books, new character spoon/fork sets, kids' chapsticks, and magical wands for the girls
  7. Most technological gift received - Tablets for both Thomas & Abby
  8. Most personality-appropriate gift for each of the kids was - Thomas and his new race car sketch book with stencils; Abby and her tons of new hair bows; Marilyn and her new baby doll and stroller.
  9. Yummy treats left out on Christmas Eve - Cookies & milk for Santa; carrots for his reindeer
  10. Name of our new Elf - Rumphy
  11. Present that is the most appropriate for Alaska - Snowman Making Kit & Snow Paint
  12. Wake-up time on Christmas morning thanks to all the little feet in our house - 6:45 am
  13. Cups of coffee I was able to drink throughout the morning - 1/2 (which is an enormous lack of caffeine on my part.  How I was functioning, I'm not sure).
  14. Number of gifts requiring pre-assembly on Christmas Eve - zero (0)... that is a first!
  15. Number of duplicate presents - 4
  16. Present that has caused the most fighting - Marilyn's new baby doll & stroller (as you can imagine, with two little girls this causes contention).
  17. Present that will have to wait the longest to be used - Thomas got a new Original Big Wheels... need to wait until the snow all melts in April
  18. Present that has caused the most headaches (for Mommy & Daddy) - REVISED ANSWER... downloading apps for the tablets... 100% more difficult & time consuming than our iPhones.  Let's just say they are a pain in the ARSS!
  19. Number of days that it took to clean up the xmas "mess" - 1 day (this Mama needed order restored in order to function and press on to the New Year)
  20. Deadline for take down of all the xmas decor - first weekend of January (before everyone goes back to school/work)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Down hill action

 Just as the Christmas food coma began to set in and the lack of fresh, cold air {because of opening presents throughout the day} started to affect my thinking, we headed outside today to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh snow.

For every thousand photos that I take of the kids, there ends up being one {OK, maybe two} that has all 3 precious smiles looking at the camera that melts my heart.

 After sitting still and flashing their sweet smiles for less than a minute, the downhill action began.
Downhill "rolling" action, that is.
 While the other two crazies were becoming little mini-snowballs, this sweet baby stayed put on the hill and just giggled for me
 We also enjoyed some real downhill action on the sledding hill. 
There is no doubt that my Florida children have assimilated quite well to the outdoor life of Alaska!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Santa's Message

Watching a short video message from Santa to Abby on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas from Alaska!

With snow falling outside, the temperatures hoovering in the low-30s, the Hecks have enjoyed our 2nd Christmas here in Alaska.  We are truly blessed to be able to spend this holiday together and focus on family.

 We said a finally goodbye to our Elf, Rumphy, who will now spend the rest of the year up at the North Pole with Santa and the rest of the Elves.  The kids are already looking forward to him arriving next year for Christmas.

 Thomas wrote this year's note to Santa - he took great pride in making sure it was perfect!
 Waiting for Marilyn to wake up and the hot chocolate & coffee to be ready...
 In true Thomas fashion, he wanted his picture taken with almost every present.  I'm saving everyone the pain and just posting one... his Avengers masks that will most certainly get a lot of use with 2 sisters to join in the fun!
 Marilyn sneaking around the backside to get a look under the tree. 
I wonder if she was looking for the ones marked with her name only?
 This blow up blue donkey (?) gave everyone, including Marilyn, quite a bit of laughs and giggles today as the kids bounced around the room chasing each other.
 Abby almost immediately put on one of her new Tutu skirts and this pair of Abby Cadabby wings and proceeded to wear them A-L-L day long.  I barely got them off of her at nap time. 
This is so Abby.
The girls sporting some new knee high socks with matching shoes!
New Tablets, or "Pads" as the kids call them, took a little time for Daddy to personalize and customize...
 ... but they sure were a huge hit.
Matter of fact, Mommy & Daddy are thinking stealing them for ourselves (OK, maybe not, but they are definitely cool)!
 A certain someone was even listening to music and playing some new word games on her very own "Pad" once everyone else was off and playing with other things.  Oh, the power of technology.

And now my hubby and I are enjoying the peace and quiet after enjoying the squeals and giggles all throughout the day.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Alaska!