20 August 2014

Three Months Old

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Matthew 18:1-2

Eli is three months old today!

Eli had a doctor's appointment at two-months and isn't due for another until four-months. So we aren't exactly sure of his measurements. But I'd expect he weighs more and is longer. Just a guess. He has outgrown the smaller-fitting 0-3 month clothes. While he still fits in some 3 months, I have started dipping into the 3-6 month stash. He is getting really good at sucking his thumb. So good, in fact, that he has stopped liking his pacifier. If he takes it all anymore he gets it to one side of his mouth and chews on it. A foreshadowing of teething to come. He's also a super drooly baby. The front of his outfits are usually soaked. He likes to blow bubbles with it too, which is a good sign that he's hungry. He's kind of a serious baby but is starting to give us that cheesy grin more and more. Melts us every time! It's funny what adults will do to get a baby to smile. He is on the verge of giggling, and I can't wait! Eli loves his swing and tummy time. He can watch Jessie play from his blanket on the floor. He likes to scoot in circles and rolled over for the first time two weeks ago! Yes, you read that right. Eli rolled over at 2.5 months. Not a fluke: the first day he did it four times. Somedays he forgets how, but he's getting better and better at it. He has also started to reach and grab. He mostly hits things in front of him but can also grip something if he catches it right. He sits up pretty well in his boppy pillow. He loves watching So You Think You Can Dance. Now, here's where it really gets good. Eli is sleeping in his own crib, and we put him down by 10pm every night. Even if he's wide awake, he will go down and hang out for a few minutes until he falls asleep. He sleeps through the night. The first week in his crib he woke up to eat at 5:30am before sleeping for another 2-3 hours. With the exception of one 4:30am feeding in the past two weeks, he has worked up to sleeping until 7:30-8:30am on the regular. That's up to 10.5 hours straight at night. You know what else? He takes at least one long nap and several short naps throughout the day. We have one rested baby. And one happy mama and dad! 

19 August 2014

30 Day Challenge

“Train yourself to serve God. Training your body helps you in some ways, but serving God helps you in every way by bringing you blessings in this life and in the future life, too.” 1Timothy 4:7b-8

I have many reasons why I need to make a few changes. Recently, I feel like my body can't catch a break. It's been one thing after another. But, overall, I just haven't felt well. And when I don't feel well physically, that seems to throw everything else off balance the most. I know what has worked in contributing to a healthy lifestyle, so I have made a plan to implement some of these steps. My goal is simply to commit to them for 30 days. Hubs has decided to come along with me as we make adjustments. I'm selfishly posting this blog for added accountability. Promising to share results will be a huge motivation to keep going! But feel free to read through this, ask questions, or join in any of our plans for the next month! 

This 30 day challenge includes menu planning and weekly meal prep, consuming more water, exercise, and going through our belongings to give away what we don't use. It might sound like a lot, but I actually decided on these specific points in hopes to simplify. And to make room for more joy! Basically, I'm wanting to remove what gets in the way of what matters most.
To start, we will be drinking at least three liters of water each day. (I've read a few things recently that suggest this amount is required for our bodies to function normally.) Our diet will consist of fruits, veggies, lean meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, oats, and whole wheat bread. We will be eating similar to a Paleo or a Whole30 program, except I did not want to cut out adequate amounts of whole grains while nursing. No sugar, white flour carbs, processed foods, or dairy. We are not going on a "diet"; we are ridding ourselves of stuff that is bad for us to make our diet better. We have planned out a menu for the full 30 days and feel like we have a very balanced, nutrient-rich diet. We are hoping to move toward organic meats and produce after researching what's available in our area. I'm not making some political statement here or condemning how anyone else eats. I'm just sharing our course of action for 30 days to hopefully make our bodies healthier! But you better believe I'm not giving up cupcakes for good. No sir.
My exercise includes a plan I found that works up to 250 squats and 50 push-ups in 30 days. I am starting a free Crossfit class on base with my friend, Stephanie, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. What's more amazing than free Crossfit? Babies in strollers are welcome! I am also planning to walk with Eli and Jessie Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We usually try to do something active and outdoors on the weekends, but if it's raining or something else comes up, I'm not planning to push for getting a work out in. I'm hoping to include some stretching every day.

We will also be getting rid of unused or unneeded items to simplify our home. The first order of business is our fridge and pantry! I made a list of a few areas of the house that we can take a day or two to go through at a time. Hoping to make a few trips to the donation station soon!

I'm praying that this challenge of physical change will only pave the way for better body, mind, and spirit. I'll let you guys know how it goes! Check back in 30 days!

18 August 2014

Learning in Alaska

This past weekend (August 15th & 16th) we went on a couple of adventures. 

The Alaska Native Heritage Center is only a few miles from our house. We weren't sure exactly what to expect, but it ended up being a fantastic cultural and educational center that offers class, videos, and an outdoor walk-through of simulated villages of Alaska's Indigenous people and communities per region.

The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward is an aquarium and wildlife rescue center. We drove down to Resurrection Bay on a rainy Saturday and walked through the center learning all about Alaska's marine ecosystems. We watched salmon, starfish, seabirds, and more, but our favorite was one spirited sea lion. We got to watch him showoff from above on the second level and swim swiftly in his teal tank from the first floor. We had no idea a sea lion could be that big!
Sweet buddy sleeping with his bear after a long day. Looking at the fishies and sea lions is exhausting! 
We also witnessed a rainbow's full arch on the Seward Highway. Pretty amazing.

07 August 2014

Millee and Grandhops…The Sequel.

Eli and I picked Millee and Grandhops up from the airport on July 23rd. Dad and I grabbed a quick snack from Cinnabon because isn't that everyone's go-to airport treat? They have these little cinna-sweets now: cinnabon donuts with icing. Let's just say, my hubs better be glad I didn't know about these when I was pregnant. He would've been making the hour long round-trip at least once a week. We then went straight to Moose's Tooth Pizzeria and ordered extra to take home for Hubs.

Pahaha! Jessie was very excited.
On Saturday, we took a trip to Talkeetna. This is a quaint little town south of Denali. The drive up was beautiful. We stopped at a small lake view about half-way for me to feed Eli, and my parents got their first view of Mt McKinley. By the time Eli was finished, clouds had covered the mountain. I had yet to see it!
Just a quick snapshot out the window of the car on the drive.
We had lunch at Denali Brewing Co. before wandering around the tiny town. The streets were busy with people and the day could not have been more beautiful. We ended our time in Talkeetna at a small bakery for dessert. Delicious! (I must be hungry because so far my memory of events are all food-related.) Anyways, on the way back to Anchorage, we pulled off the main highway to check out a flight-seeing place. It was such a pretty view of Fish Lake and the owner was kind enough to let us sit, enjoy her peaceful cul-de-sac, and watch a landing on the water. All a ploy to make us take a tour, I'm sure. It worked because Hubs and I totally plan to go back and let them show us around Denali from the air!
Unfortunately, most of their visit, we had a sick baby boy on our hands (and chests). He was still an amazing little traveler but sounded like a pug and wanted to eat more than usual. Hubs and I were so sad but loved the sweet snuggles!
On Sunday, we went to church service and the JBER Airshow. The F-22s were amazing to watch, but boy were they loud! Luckily, the ear protection I had purchased for Eli worked like a charm. He somehow slept through that daring dancing jet show. We met a few of our friends at the show too. I was glad my parents got to meet our EOD family! We also got to walk by many different aircraft, including a blackhawk. Hubs' dad flies them, so I excited to see one up close. Hub's unit also had a demo booth set out. It was fun for me to see what he works with and ask questions about his job. Such a cool experience.
So far family visits have all included trips to the brand new BassPro. It's pretty awesome inside. Polar bears and everything!
Tuesday, we took a trip south to Mt Alyeska. Hubs didn't get any time off from work other than his normal weekend during their visit so he had to miss out on something. We stopped at McHugh trail on the way down just for the view on a clear day.
We reached the resort, bought tickets for the tram, and took it all in. The grounds around the hotel are just beautiful, and the view from the top is incredible. The five-minute ride up the tram alone was so worth the trip to Girdwood, and our lunch at the Bore Tide Deli was so yummy. We could barely eat half of our giant sandwiches. We had panoramic views among the ski lifts and trailheads. There is a great little gift shop with a wrap-around deck where we watched a few daring fellows run off the edge to paraglide the whole way down. I can't wait to explore the hotel and trails more with Hubs soon!
^^ L: View from bottom of the tram. R: View from top of the tram. ^^
My mom "accidentally" took this unbelievable shot when we passed the other tram. It's a postcard!
That night, Dad and Hubs went fishing. Hubs had heard of a couple of little spots on base where the salmon were running. He had bought waders and flies at BassPro to complete his rig for this kind of fishing and had caught one silver salmon with a few guys from work on his lunch break that day. Hubs and Dad snagged two that night. Snagging is illegal, so they threw them back and came home late that night empty-handed. But the sunset that night was breathtaking, and the guys enjoying the fishing with a great pink-y orange-ish view of Mt McKinley. 
Above: Sunset from our house.
Below: Sunset from the guys fishing.
 Wednesday was my parents last day here. We had lunch at Snow City Cafe per request before walking down to Resolution Park, a small lookout point downtown. Then it was off to airport until next time!