Sunday, February 24, 2013

Another funfilled week

     We started out the week with a few last days with Mummo and Bill before they headed back to the Pacific Northwest. While lots of adventures were had by Mummo, Bill, Heikki and the kids-I was working so no photos for me to easily upload!
     Heikki took them to see the glass bottom boats at Aquarena in San Marcos on Monday. The kids have such a great time with that, and I think Mummo and Bill did as well. It is a cool underwater tour of the San Marcos River. Just lovely and if ever in San Marcos I do recommend that!
     Tuesday the big kids had to go to school so Mummo, Bill, Heikki and Kai headed into Austin and went to the LBJ Presidential Library. I have never been to it or any Presidential Library. It sounded like they enjoyed it and I guess we should keep that on our To do List.
     Wednesday Mummo and Bill had to head back to Washington state. They will be greatly missed.
We then ended the week by taking a trip to Gruene, Texas (pronounced Green) to meet up with our other Mummo and Ukki Frederick.  We always love our time with Grandparents. The kids got super lucky this week and had time with both grandparents! These are some pictures of the kids loving on a tree while waiting for our table. As Suvi stood by the tree, giving it hugs, she asked me, "Aren't you going to take a picture of me?" What a ham. I had to go get my phone and caught this shot of Kai and her:

Probably one of the best things about Gruene and the Gristmill Restaurant where we ALWAYS eat: the Strawberry Shortcake dessert (I mean besides seeing my parents). It is almost all whip cream and a Frederick/Laukkanen family favorite. Definitely not on any one's diet...

 Earlier on Saturday, which was a gorgeous spring day by the way, Suvi had a small dance performance at a local elementary school.  Here she is with her classmates, getting ready for the ballet routine.  Suvi is in the middle. The little girl on the far right is our friend Marli. She is a funny little girl who kind of does her own thing sometimes! LOL!
 Below is the girls' getting ready for their tap routine. The sun was in their eyes and they are looking at their instructor.
Below is Suvi in her Ballet costume. This is the one she will wear in her big performance at the end of May.
Suvi absolutely loves dance. I think she likes ballet best. She is taking after her aunt Kaisa as her dad and I do NOT dance! Her instructor informed me this week that she thinks we should put Suvi in pre-team next year. I do not know all what this entails, but feel pretty proud of my little dancer! We will have meetings this spring to get more info about Pre-teams!
Markku is having a big ceremony in the Cub Scouts this next week called the Blue and Gold Banquet. We were told to make the centerpieces for the tables. I am not crafty in the least so I was a little worried when Heikki volunteered us to get the supplies...but luckily my husband turned out to have some great ideas on how to make a tee-pee. We used some foam rings, wooden dowels and construction paper and then luckily our den leader seemed to know exactly what Heikki had in mind (Heikki had to go to Corpus Christi for Coast guard and couldn't be there himself)! Here are some photos of their work:

 and the final project turned out really great I think!

For those of you who don't know, I went to high school a long long time ago in a suburb of Rochester, NY. Pittsford Mendon High School to be exact and I graduated in 1990. Eeeek! Anyways, I moved away and went to college, vet school and moved all over the place. So I never see any high school friends. We see Heikki's often when we visit Washington or go to his reunions, but not true of mine! So this week, I made it happen. I went and had lunch with a classmate who now lives just north of Austin. It was great to see her again and relive some old memories while mostly catching up on where our lives are now. We both played Field Hockey together. I was shocked to hear she lives so close and that her mother actually lives only a few miles away. Thanks to Facebook we re-connected and hopefully will make it a more regular occurrence.
So another busy week ends and we start the next one...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Adventures with Mummo Bill

We have some visitors this week: Mummo and Bill. It is so great to have them here again and luckily we are having some nice weather as well. We went on an adventure to Palmetto State Park in Gonzales. We went on a short 2.2 mile hike with us and kids along the San Marcos River. It was pretty. 
 Here we are taking a short break
 Kai was killing me by leaning so far over
 Markku climbed a tree
 These trees had holes in them!
 Here are the namesake Palmetto plants

Kai climbing rocks
Before we went hiking, we actually stopped by the museum in Gonzales.  Basically Mexico gave this cannon to the early settlers to help fight the Native Indians that kept attacking the settlers. But, then Texas wanted their independence and Mexico wanted their cannon back."Come and Take it" is the saying as this was what the Texans said to Mexico when Mexico wanted this cannon back. The townspeople fired one shot and the Mexicans ran away. So the cannon is still there, and so is this saying...  It was fun to visit this small museum and show the kids some relics of history. We did it for Markku's cubscout project, but it was fun for all of us!

This is the cannon

Here are the three flags: The Come and Take it flag, the US flag and the Texas state flag

Here is the museum, with the flags again

 We also stopped by Bucee's to show Mummo and Bill a real gas station! The kids suckered their grandma into buying them a souvenir from Bucee's too...Too bad the gas was super expensive. We wanted a better deal, but definitely did not get it today!

Markku is gearing up to play baseball this spring. Mummo brought Heikki's old baseball mitt for Markku to use! This is his first practice...

Fantastic expression! But ball inside the glove!

With Isa's old mitt

Heikki is reading Pinklacious to Suvi at night, so sweet.

Kai was cuddling up with Isa watching The Jungle Book! Couldn't resist this picture of them!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

First haircut and more

Kai got his first haircut this week! He is now almost 26 months old, so it was slow in coming. Markku was also about this age when he got his first haircut. But there was a huge difference as Markku just sat still as could be, and Kai was a crying, blubbering, hysterical mess! I bribed him ,tried distracting him and still had to hold him down!  Even when we were telling Isa about it tonight he got so sad and kept touching his hair! I am surprised it is anywhere near even, but she did the best she could!  I am dreading having to go back next time...
This was afterwards, at HEB looking at the lobsters. Much happier.

 But this was him crying in the airplane seat...and the worst I couldn't take a picture of since I had to be holding him!
Just before the haircut debacle, we had Markku's last basketball game of the season. Here he is with his medal. He told me that he doesn't think he wants to play next year, so we will see what happens.

This is the whole team

Here is an action shot of his attempt at a basket.
This week we also went over to a friends house who lives on a little ranch. She has some cattle and horses. Here is her Longhorn (this one is a female).

Of course there are barn cats as well, which Kai really liked this one since he let Kai hold him.

We had a blast riding her horse. We have been meaning to get out and since Tiffany is due with her first child in less than a month, we decided to get moving on that plan! Suvi really enjoyed her time riding. This was her second time on a horse, but her first was at a birthday party so just a quick ride on a rainbow pony. This was a real ride! Well, it was lead by Tiffany or Ashlee, but still! 

Markku actually rode twice-he was having a great time as well. Next time she said they could go out in the pasture and ride for "real". We did this one in order to get his cubscout belt loop for Horseback riding, so he also got to learn about Horse safety as well. 
Here he is leading Karma
Kai was surprisingly afraid of the horses. He much preferred the cats and dogs, and then he found his true favorite: this red truck!

Look at my cowboy!
We finally are getting somewhere in cubscouts as we try to earn our Tiger badge. Here is Marrku getting his tiger paw and special beads that represent what we have accomplished so far.  Markku had the most beads--but mainly only because he has an anal mother who went through the book and signed him off on all sorts of activities! The rest of the boys are doing this more with their dads, so it was not really fair...

Here are three of his den members and their leader
Again, another busy week. Kai also is starting to talk more. Not enough and I really do need to get him evaluated, but he says a sentence here and there now " I top bunk". Meaning he wants to get on the top bunk! It is pretty cute.  Except of course that means he attempts to climb up there at every possible moment. He is a climber so I have to watch him carefully. He was quiet for a bit earlier this week, and I went to look for him. He had put a step stool on the toilet to climb up high to get into the cupboards behind the toilet. Yikes!  Since he had the Q-tip in his hand, I know he did make it up there...oh boy!  He has finally started to call Heikki something other than "mama". I think he is also using "sha sha" just like Markku used to.
Markku had a great big brother moment last night as well. Suvi wanted to sleep with the boys so they were all tucked in, I said goodnight and went downstairs. Over the baby monitor I heard Markku reading The Magic Treehouse series to his siblings. He was using a flashlight! He read for 30 minutes--and then I had to tell him it was bedtime. Suvi was sound asleep already but Kai goes "Awwwww".  He wanted him to keep reading. Markku is doing great with reading and is on to his chapter books. Thank goodness it is coming easy for him.
He also pointed out to me how unfair it was that he had to go to school 5 days with only 2 days off. He figures that is only fair for high school kids, since they don't play a lot. Ha! 
And last week at the superbowl watching party we had (just our family one), he cracked us up when the Calvin Klein ad on was-do you know the one? No words, just a very well chisheled man in underwear. Well, Markku said, "Hey look, a P90X commercial!"   He knows P90X from Heikki! How funny. He still cracks me up. I will try to remember more cute things the kids say, as I know someday I will forget this stage!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Princesses, X-box, Insanity!!!

Another week has gone by and it is already February. I am amazed at how fast time goes by. A friend of mine is about to have a baby and I just went to her  baby shower. The clothes and newborn diapers are just so tiny! How could it be that it has been just over 2 years since I had a newborn? Look at my not so much babies any more:
Kai and Suvi playing Princess
Kai really does play well with Suvi and he loves to dress up! It is so cute-can you see he is holding his magic wand even?  Very soon after this picture was taken he was back to playing with trucks and legos, and tackling me. He loves to play tackle.
My mom finally had a break in her busy schedule and I got to visit with her for the first time since Christmas. She has seen the kids but I usually have to work when she visits with them. We had just gotten our X-box-kinect video game working again after about a year. It was password locked and we were clueless at how to fix it. So, finally Best buy cracked the code in about 30 seconds and got it working again. Everyone is happy it is back. Mummo even joined in:

Mummo and Kai playing Xbox

Kai was playing alongside Markku

Suvi really doesn't play much-except for a game in which she gets to pop bubbles. That is her beautiful outfit she chose for the day as well. The pics are blurry since they are action shots.
Starting this past fall I decided it was time to get working out again. I just cannot seem to get to the gym or get kids all to go on a run with me, and finding time to work out is so very hard. So, I started getting up at 5-5:30 am and doing my workouts. I just finished 9 weeks of Insanity workout! It is a pretty hard work out for anyone not knowing what it is. I have never sweated so much ever. Heikki doesn't like to do them either-he prefers to sleep in! (He does work out at the gym or with his P90X later in the day I do have to admit). Here is a photo of me doing Insanity. Again, it is blurry because I am jumping in the air. 

Now that this work out is done, I am not sure what I am going to do. But I better think of something as now that I am 40, the fat starts coming back immediately if I take a break... And since we had our Superbowl party with pizza and wings and chips tonight...I better get back in tomorrow bright and early!

Hopefully we will have an exciting February-we have Heikki home a lot more this month, and Mummo and Bill are coming for a visit. We haven't seen them since our fantastic summer vacation in Oregon/Washington.