Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Little Girl is One!

Was it really a year ago that I woke up in the morning feeling my first contractions and knowing that I'd be having a baby that day? I remember Jacob speeding to Soldotna and praying that we'd make it to the hospital to have a baby and not to fix broken bones from being in a car accident! Obviously, we did make it safely and just about four hours after arriving, little Ziya was born. I knew from ultrasounds that I was going to have a girl, but I still remember holding her and asking myself, "What on earth am I going to do with a girl?"

Well, one year later, I know exactly what to do with my little girl (most of the time, anyway!). I love her and cuddle with her and let her melt my heart time and time again every single day. I also enjoy making hair accessories that coordinate with her outfits (who, me???), figuring out new ways to style her hair, dressing her in pink (I always thought I'd have a little girl who only wore jeans and t-shirts... she actually only owns one pair of jeans!), crocheting pretty edges on blankets for her and doing other girlie things I never thought I'd do. I love it, and I love her!

I think Ziya knew it was her birthday today. As I rocked her for a few minutes before putting her to sleep last night, I blew in her face to get the hair out of her eyes, like I always do. This time though, she surprised me by blowing right back in my face and then giggling! Earlier in the day, she found a single key, went to the bathroom door, started knocking on it and then stood up and stretched as tall as she could on her tippy toes and tried her hardest to put the key in the doorknob. I was wowed! During the day, she took the package of sponges out from under the sink, took them all out of the packaging and took them one by one and put them on the table. These may not seem like big accomplishments, but because I was thinking about her birthday and her growing up anyway, they seemed really big to me.

I love my little Ziya. Ammon and Abraham love their little sister and can't get enough of her. And Jacob absolutely adores her. What a wonderful blessing she is to our family. I often think of a quote one of my friends passed along to me: "President Brigham Young explained that our families are not yet ours. The Lord has committed them to us to see how we will treat them. Only if we are faithful will they be given to us forever. What we do on earth determines whether or not we will be worthy to become heavenly parents." Ziya (as well as all of my children) makes me want to pass this test.

We had a fun birthday. Gina inspired me to try fondant for her cake. It was quite the experiment (thanks to Kortney for all your help! You're a lifesaver!) and I definitely learned how to make it easier and better for next time, but I think she liked it! We kept encouraging her to get messy with her cake and ice cream, but she was quite dainty about the whole thing. She got a little bath toy, but by the time she finally made it to the bath after such a busy day, she was too tired to even play with it. We'll try again with tomorrow's bath.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Allosaurus Rocks!

Ammon had his third Kindergarten performance tonight. It has been so fun for us to see him progress so much in school. He said his lines and performed his parts with confidence. His class just finished up a dinosaur unit and this was their chance to share a bunch of stuff they learned. Ammon teamed up with two classmates and learned all about Allosaurus - a pretty tough dinosaur. Then using everything everybody learned, his class wrote a play and performed it tonight. I'm amazed at what these little Kindergarteners know about dinosaurs (even just pronouncing some of the names was impressive!).

One of Ammon's roles during the play was to pound on this really cool drum as his dinosaur classmates stomped onto the stage to perform their part. He did a great job pounding!
Back in the classroom after the play, the kids showed off their dioramas that they made. If you look closely, you can see his little clay Allosaurus.
And finally, here is Ammon standing in front of the part of the backdrop that he created. The dinosaur drawing on the right is his Allosaurus - our new favorite dinosaur.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This girl's got some hair!

Ziya is a beautiful little girl. She has piercing brown eyes, two adorable little teeth, an infectious smile and laugh, a great personality, and so much more... However, the first thing people always comment about upon meeting her, is that great hair. So I made a hair collage. Yeah... this girl's got some hair!
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Pilates King

Back in January, I joined a group of my friends in what we call a Weight Loss Get Healthy Competition. For part of this competition, I get points for doing healthy things on a daily basis, exercising being one of them. In my efforts to "get healthy," I started doing a Winsor Pilates DVD that my sister gave me. A few times, I asked Jacob if he wanted to join me. He politely declined with some little smirk about how men don't do Pilates. Well... much has changed since then!! Read on.

With me stepping it up as far as my efforts towards improved fitness go, Jacob wasn't about to be left in the dust! However, while he is coaching (first basketball and now track & field), he has little or no time left to exercise. He realized that if he was going to exercise, it had to be something that he could do late at night after the kiddos are in bed. Hmmmmm? What could it be? What exercise can one do quietly at home, not spend any money, build muscle strength while getting the heart rate going, tone, sculpt, condition... PILATES!!!

Most nights when I come home from my runs, I find Jacob doing some of these fancy moves. When he first started doing it, Jacob called Lara (we've moved on from Winsor to 10 Minute Solutions with Lara Hudson) a weirdo for being able to do this move and hold it. It didn't take too long before he could do it (I still can't!).
He also didn't understand how she could get that leg straight.
One night when he was doing a flexibility workout, he reached up to the ceiling and put his hand flat against the ceiling. He almost fell over from the shock of being able to do this. Just one week earlier when he'd first started, he could only put his fingertips on the ceiling (Pilates really does lengthen you!). And this morning when we went on a family bike ride, he made a comment about how it was easier to get on his bike than it was last fall because he's so much more flexible (his bike is humongous and even with his height, it's hard to get on).

Jacob is not the only one enjoying Pilates. His high school track kids are also doing Pilates moves now. Even Ammon and Abraham have occasionally joined in on the fun.
Here are Jacob and Ammon doing the move Jacob calls the Bird Dog???

Now on the nights when I don't run, Jacob is the one that encourages me to do Pilates with him! Talk about a complete turnaround!

Even with this newfound venture, he still has a tiny bit of that "Pilates isn't for men" attitude. Just the other night, somebody knocked on the door while he was in the middle of his workout. He scrambled up off the floor, turned Lara off and changed the channel to SportsCenter before answering the door! I laughed so hard when he told me this!

When I asked him if I could blog about this though, he didn't seem to mind. Hey, why not share a good thing???

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Random catching up...

It seems that I'm always trying to catch up.

Two weeks ago we spent the entire weekend moving into a new apartment (pictures soon to come... I promise!) Just three or four days later, I had to have not only our new apartment looking spic-n-span, but our old apartment semi-cleaned up as well so a realtor could come and take a look (it's a long story... but the apartment owners where we manage are trying to sell the units as condos and they came to get a feel for the type of work that's being done in the building!). Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of sleep that week. A bunch of boxes that we didn't get a chance to get unpacked had to go into hiding back in a storage closet. My goal this week is to get caught up by unpacking just one box per day. Wish me luck!

I have a book that my little sis highly recommended. It's called Chi Running by Danny Dreyer. Isa claims that she keeps waiting for her knees to hurt from all her running, but they just haven't since she's adopted some of these running techniques. My knees told me I had to give this a try. Anyway, our public library didn't have it so I got it through an inter-library loan program and the book had to come from Washington. For two weeks, I've been telling myself that I must read the book (and read it quickly) because it's due back on the 14th and they're not going to let me renew it. I think I've read about 5 pages... and tomorrow is the 14th! I don't know how I'm going to catch up on this one.

Soccer season started with a fury. Ammon and Abraham are on different teams (Ammon wears a gray shirt and his team calls itself the Bomb Sharks while Abe wears orange and belongs to the Kardinals). This past week, I also babysat for two of my good friends who had to go out of town suddenly. One of the little boys also plays soccer. So in five days' time, I took three little boys and a very active almost-one-year-old to six different games. Saturday was the worst (or was it the best??). Abe had pictures and a game at 10 a.m. Then we came home to eat and went back for our little friend's pictures and game at 12p.m. Then we came home again, rested, ate and went back a third time for Ammon's pictures and game. Here are a few pictures of Ammon and Abe. They're absolutely loving soccer. I need to try to get better pictures. This will be a big part of our lives for the next couple of weeks. I'm glad my boys are on different teams so they can have fun and successes independently of each other... it's going to be fun to stay caught up with all of this.

I'm really enjoying our new apartment. It's completely remodeled and feels sooooo different than our old apartment. I actually enjoy cleaning this one. I clean and it actually looks clean when I'm done (imagine that!!). This is what I have to keep caught up with though... at least she's having fun! Now all of our new toilet paper rolls have been unrolled and re-rolled!

Another one of my catch up goals is this blog. I really want to get back to the point where I'm posting regularly. My new friend Leaca is insisting that this is my Simon Birch and I'd be making a huge mistake to let it go. I think she's right.

One final picture from this past week. One morning, I had five little boys and one little girl to get ready for the day and for school. We all knelt by the door for a prayer before going out and I made them all stay put... I was sooo thankful to have all the backpacks packed, the jackets and shoes on and all hands off each other - I just had to snap a picture. We love our little friends!

Anyway... one of my biggest catching up games is with my sleep. Jacob is now prodding me to go to bed soon. It's only 10pm, but I think I'd better do as he says this time. Today during choir practice, I actually fell asleep in the middle of singing one of our songs. I hadn't done that since college when I made the mistake of taking a Philosophy course at 7a.m. It was quite embarrassing!