Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snow Week and Sleep Success!

This week was full of snow. It snowed several days, but didn't affect our schedule too much. The other big news item was that we FINALLY were able to combine Keira and Soren in their room, after a few nights of Keira sleeping in the kitchen. We call it a success, but Keira has not been sleeping as well due to sharing, but we are hoping it will just continue to improve. Ryan and I have been sleeping much better.

On Monday, we had the largest snowfall of the week. It was a snow day for the schools, which didn't affect us today. We were finally able to get a snowman built! I took a ton of pictures in the snow, I pulled a couple favorites and the rest are in a slide show.

Once Ryan got home from work, we had to go to Sears at the mall to replace my wiper blades. We decided to stop and get a pretzel and let the kids play for a bit. While we were there, we witnessed some very shocking parenting. There was a man sleeping at the play area. It wasn't like he had just dozed off, either. He was laying on the bench with a bag for a pillow and his coat as a blanket. We were alarmed by this, first because it was creepy that a person was sleeping there. Second, we realized that he was supposed to be watching two small children. The older one looked to be no older than 5 at the most, maybe younger because he wasn't that much bigger than Keira. We were busy keeping an eye on Keira and Soren, helping them play, and then as we were ready to leave, we noticed that the children that were with the man were missing. Ryan woke him up and asked him if he had children he was supposed to be watching because we thought they were gone. One lady spotted them walking towards the mall center. We felt terrible, and although it was not our fault, we felt as if we should have done something sooner. The man notified security, and we made a couple quick checks of the places I know Keira like to go (petland and the TV at Gymboree), but didn't see them. We ran into a security guard and asked him about the situation, and fortunately, the children had been found already. I felt so relieved, because we would have felt terrible knowing that we could/should have done or said something earlier. It really bothered both of us how someone could be so irresponsible.

On Tuesday, Keira went to school as the snow was cleared. She made a race car painting at school today.
We were also excited that one of our neighbor's replaced our stick nose with a carrot for our snowman. Keira told me that our snowman had grown a carrot nose, and I didn't believe her until I saw it. Soren also loves the snowman, and can sort of say snow man.

That evening, we had the Blue and Gold Banquet for Ryan's cub scouts at church. It was pretty fun, and the dinner was good. The boys got a bit wild towards the end, and Keira stayed up way too late, but other than that, it was a nice night. Ryan is being thanked for being a leader below.
Elise, Lizzie, and Keira eating their cake.
Soren was very excited about his balloon. He was very preoccupied with them much of the evening.
Soren fell asleep on the way home, clutching his balloon.

On Wednesday, Keira was pretty tired and crabby after staying up too late last night. After the gym, we skipped the special library activity that we had planned. We drove over there, but with Keira pouting and no parking spaces except at the high school, we decided to head home. Soren had to go to the Dr for his ear check and his immunizations that were overdue from his 15 month visit at the beginning of the year. He looked great, and was 32 inches tall and 22 lbs, 5 oz. He is getting tall and skinny these days. After the doctor's visit, we just played around the house with the balloons from last night. They made their hair full of static. Keira also decided today that she didn't want to sleep in the kitchen anymore, and started sharing a room with Soren.

On Thursday, I didn't have any meetings or much to do while Keira was at school, so Soren was able to get some nice one on one attention. He was so funny putting these blocks on his arms.

Keira made this train hat at school today, but as typical, she didn't want her picture taken in it. I am glad I took this one in the car once we got home.

We had also gotten a bit more snow, so our snowman grew a "hat".

On Friday, we had a really full day. It was a very snowy day, and snowed constantly. After my swim workout, I took Keira and Soren swimming with me at the gym. It wasn't as difficult as I thought, especially because I utilized the child care to get myself cleaned up.

Soren was so funny, he will just relax and close his eyes while floating in his life jacket. He looks like he is going to sleep, except for his big smile.

Keira looked so cute giving Soren a kiss before we left the pool area.
Next, we met up with Michelle for some visiting teaching at the mall. Keira loves playing with Zach. They had a great time playing after we ate.

Despite the snow, once Ryan got home from work we headed out to do some bike browsing in Ann Arbor. We had dinner at Metzgers, a German restaurant while out that way. It was really good. Keira was excited about all of the decor, especially a picture of Schloss Neuschwanstein made of stained glass.

On Saturday, we had a really lazy morning. Neither Ryan or I worked out today. I needed a rest after working out 5 days in a row already, and the weather was just too snowy for Ryan to do anything outside. Soren woke up early, and Keira woke up late. It was good for Keira to get some much needed rest. Soren was ready for a nap after getting cleaned up. He had really funny hair from going to sleep right after his bath.

We joined Kris and Linda for lunch at Pei Wei, which is always fun. Then, we hit up REI with them. I did some errands on my own, and then we got pizza for dinner.

On Sunday, Ryan was not feeling well so I took both Keira and Soren to church. It was not as bad as I feared it would be. Soren made it almost the entire Sacrament meeting in the chapel, and thanks to Kim and Barb, I was able to leave Keira while taking Soren out. Since I was conducting today, It wasn't the easiest to have Soren with me. Initially, he sat on a chair right up front in Keira's class, but was just too loud to stay there. He is only a few weeks away from being in nursery officially, so Shannon took him in nursery for me. He did great! He stayed in from that point until the end. He was getting tired, so periodically he would ask for me, but then would get cheered up by a toy. He did get a little upset at the end, and ran out as soon as the door opened. He was brought to me with a toy phone in hand, which was pretty funny. He always has his toy phones at home and talks into them. I guess I spend too much time on the phone! These are just some pictures at home today, since we spent the rest of the day here.

It warmed up a bit today, and our snowman, who had undergone so many changes this week, looked pretty sad and depressed today. Keira really enjoys the "Snowmen at Night" book, about everything crazy that snowmen do at night which makes them look funny during the day, and she will probably be sad that our snowman looks so rough. His nose had fallen off when we came home from church, and although I replaced it, he just got even more droopy as the day went on.
Up for next week, hopefully March will go in like a lion so that it will go out like a lamb. I am ready for winter to be over, but will take a few more days of snow now so that it can be done and over with.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Water Fun in the Winter

We spent a ton of time in the pool this week. There were no library storytimes, so we were able to do some other activities, and Keira was on winter break for Thursday. We also welcomed Nana and Papa home from thei Utah ski trip.

On Monday, after my swim in the pool, we headed over to a complimentary swim at the Goldfish Swim School. It is a rather pricey indoor swimming facility that is geared towards teaching young children to swim and be safe around water. I am allowed to take Keira and Soren into my gym's pool, but with no lifeguards on duty, I don't plan to take them both unless I know there are others in the pool at least. It was nice to be able to go to the swim school where I knew there would be lifeguards and other people around in the event of an emergency. Soren was pretty unsure in the beginning, but really warmed up to it. He enjoyed just floating around on his back in his life jacket. Keira enjoyed holding onto a barbell type float. They had all sorts of pool toys, including a car, canoe, and this airplane.

We also got Keira's hair cut tonight at Snip its. They did a great job, but we were surprised that it was more expensive than our favorite salon (for us) out in Ann Arbor. It was close, and did save us a trip to Ann Arbor, so in all, it wasn't that bad of a choice. This is a "before" picture with her LONG ponytail.

We cut off about 3 inches, but her hair is still pretty long.

Soren seemed sad he didn't get his hair cut too, but he isn't quite scrappy enough.

On Tuesday, Keira had school and made a President's Day craft. It is George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

It was also Fat Tuesday, or paczki day here in the D. According to the package (which came from Kroger), in Poland, for hundreds of years they celebrate the arrival of Lent by making paczki (punch-key). They are delicious jelly filled dough balls covered with several types of sugar or glaze. They were made the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday because they were going to fast for 40 days and needed to use up the ingredients in their homes. In Germany, they are known as Berliners and in Austria, the celebrate with Krapfen. According to Ryan, the Kroger variety were not nearly as good as some that were brought into Ford, but I found them to be tastier than Meijer's. There are many bakeries in Hamtramck that specialize in them at this time of year. Due to a presidency meeting, I couldn't make the drive. I did bring a large variety of flavors to my meeting, including cream cheese, vanilla cream, blueberry, lemon, and apple. All of my presidency members are transplants to the area (and I have been here the longest by far), and none had tasted a paczki before. Shannon, who lived in New Orleans previously and was missing Mardi Gras, was happy to learn that Detroit did have its own Fat Tuesday tradition. Soren and Keira both enjoyed their pazckis. Neither of them finished a whole one, which made me eat a lot of leftovers. They have around 600-800 calories each, so needless to say, I was pretty full feeling all day.

On Wednesday, we had a pretty relaxing day. I made it to the gym, and with nothing immediately pressing, was able to get in a really nice swim workout. I also had to do a few things for Primary today.

On Thursday, Keira had the day off, so we were able to hit the gym first thing. Then, I took Keira back to the Goldfish Swim School today for a free trial lesson. She did great, but the lessons are very very expensive, so we likely won't be enrolling her any time soon. She worked on scooping water, floating on her back, and kicking. She looked so cute with swim googles on! I wished I had taken a picture. Once we returned home, it turned out to be quite the nice day. Soren loves playing in the snow, and learned how yucky it is to fall in snow in jeans. We had to go inside and change after this, and it became a reoccuring event throughout the rest of the week.

We also got out the mover for Soren and Keira's bike. Keira had been asking to bike for several days now, especially after seeing Ryan head out on the weekends to ride. Soren really wants a bike badly too. In fact, Keira took a little spill, and at first, when I saw Soren running up, I though he was going to give Keira a hug too. No, he just wanted her bike. We did let him take a turn on it, but it is a bit too big (and girly) for him.

They made it outside for quite some time. I was pretty cold by the time we came in. Here we are clowning around waiting for Ryan to get home.

On Friday, I was able to get my workout and some grocery shopping done before with enough time to head over to Valerie D's. Keira had not been able to play with Katie in a while, and I had not been able to catch up with Valerie either. Keira had a great time playing dress up with Katie.

In the evening, we went to family swim at Botsford with Cristina and her boys. I hadn't seen Cristina in a while, so it was nice to see her and Keira just loves the water. As earlier, Soren was a bit unsure, but warmed right up. He enjoyed floating around on his back and being held upright with a barbell. Keira floated around with a barbell too.

Saturday was a beautiful and busy day for us. All of us went to a baptism for Allison, the daughter of Kent and Valerie B. As Primary President, I got to be the one to welcome Ally to the ward, and it was so much easier to do the welcome for someone that I know really well. Since Sundays seem to be a bit crazy getting ready before church and getting changed quicky to eat afterwards, sometimes we don't get very many good pictures of Keira and Soren all dressed up. We had some fun with the camera before getting changed out of church clothes, as well as a bit after.

After that, Ryan headed to the tree farm where he was able to get in a much better ride than last week. While he was gone, I took Keira and Soren out in the jogging stroller for my first run with them of the year. It was pretty hard. I was able to keep up my pace, but not my distance. Both Keira and Soren conked out in the stroller. Keira hasn't been napping so much anymore, but Soren still does. It was a good nap for Keira, but it messed up Soren a bit, and he wouldn't go back to sleep inside.

Once we were all cleaned up, we headed out to Ann Arbor to look at some bikes. Sadly, due to our order of stops, I took too much time at the first shop prior to dinner at Chipotle. When we went to the second shop, which was the one Ryan really wanted to see, they were closed already. We came home in time for a fun bath, and it is hard to tell from the pictures, but both Keira and Soren have bubble beards from the tub.

On Sunday, I woke up feeling utterly exhausted because Soren slept miserably. He was up every two hours! Needless to say, this day was a bit of a challenge, and we were late to church. After church, we went over to Kris and Linda's and brought them an afternoon meal. Kris suffered a broken thumb in a skiing accident earlier in the week and was recovering from surgery on Friday. He was doing pretty well for our visit. Keira wasn't too sure about Papa's arm being all wrapped up, but Soren didn't seem too phased by it.

Additionally, since I was so exhausted by Soren's night waking, we are trying something new tonight. We kicked Soren out of our room and have him in the crib tonight. Keira is sleeping on our fold out couch in the kitchen, and we have our room to ourselves. Hopefully Soren will learn how to stay asleep quickly so that we just need to move Keira back into her bed and we will be kicking ourselves for not trying this earlier. We know it won't be instant, but are hoping Keira doesn't have to spend too many nights in the kitchen. That will probably be our biggest update for next week. Here are few shots of Keira getting ready to go to sleep in our kitchen.
Soren has his arms folded, ready to say the prayer!