Thursday, May 28, 2009

Babies at the Gatzke Household

Before anyone gets too excited... we have baby birds... no actual babies...

Our mama bird scared the living daylights out of me one day a week or two ago while Amaya and I were playing outside. I opened the front door and startled her probably as much as she startled me. Sure enough, there was a nest in our wreath. The first spring that we lived in our house a mama bird made this wreath her new home, so I really shouldn't have been surprised that there would be another nest.

We recently found 6 eggs in the nest... unfortunately due to quite a bit of wind, one of the eggs didn't make it. Steve saw that one of the eggs has already hatched, but we haven't had a chance to take a picture of him yet, but here is a picture of the eggs.

Also, this past week, I noticed a bunny spending quite a bit of time in our yard. At lunch, Steve went to check out the action, and sure enough, the bunny was making a nest - or rather, making a very big hole tearing up our lawn in the process. Then when Steve mowed this past weekend, he found ANOTHER bunny nest. There weren't any baby bunnies in the nest yet. Our neighbor in back of us has been trying to catch the bunnies and then set them free out in the country, but somehow they keep making their way back to the Cobblestone Lane area. I guess they like our home and we don't blame them because we like it too.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Amaya's Bike Trailer

With our profits from the garage sale, we went out and bought a bike trailer for Amaya. I didn't want to spend another summer not biking. Last summer, Amaya was too little to go in a bike trailer and the summer before that I was pregnant and certainly not feeling like biking in the heat.

It's a lot harder getting ready for a bike ride with Amaya, but it's really worth it! Steve and I get great exercise and quality time together and Amaya gets to enjoy the ride in style and play with toys while being OUTSIDE! Here, she's patiently waiting by her slide (another garage sale purchase) while Steve gets her trailer ready.

We're doing good so far... no tears, no freaking out, no screaming!

And here comes the helmet... just a few tears, a little uncertainty, and a lot of TOYS!

We've gone on 5 or 6 rides since getting the new trailer. Amaya has done really well and can usually last 2 hours (with a stop or two) before she wants out for good. She does well with the helmet so far... every so often she tries to take it off, but then she gets distracted. Steve is getting quite the work-out pulling an extra 30 or so pounds. We've only explored the Douglas Trail thus far because it's so close to our house. Next weekend, we're going to drive to Lanesboro and bike the trail there and probably have a picnic. When we go to South Dakota this summer, we'll plan on bringing our bikes as there is a trail right near our campground. We're just thankful that Amaya enjoys going for rides - we hope she'll enjoy biking as much as we do when she gets older.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mother's Day

I finally have an opportunity to catch up!

We had everyone (my parents, Mike, Arwen, and the kids, Steve's parents and grandparents) over to our house for Mother's Day again this year. The weather was sunny, but certainly not warm enough to eat outside. Steve and Mike grilled hamburgers, and we had hot dogs, potato chips, baked beans, Watergate Salad, fruit salad, veggies, and Dirt Dessert. I love having everyone together - now all we're missing is the Springer and Wiggins families!

Since becoming a mother, I've come to appreciate those women in my life that are mothers so much more. I worry about Amaya all the time! Is she getting enough fruits and veggies? Is she developing normally? Will she be smart, funny, kind, compassionate, etc.? Will she love the Lord? Will she marry a godly man? I can only imagine what my own mother worried about! Being a mother has been the MOST difficult job ever - it makes nursing school seem like a breeze! But on the other hand, it's been the most rewarding, fulfilling, and most natural job in the world.

I couldn't decide which pictures to post, so I'm posting most of them.

Grandma Gustafson, Ben, and Annika.

Lydia, Miles, Grandpa Gustafson, and Amaya. Who doesn't love sitting on Grandpa's lap to read stories?

One of my favorite pictures of Steve's Grandma and his mom.

Amaya, me, and my mom (color-coordinated and all!)

Great-Grandma Struckmann, Amaya, me, Miles, Grandma Gustafson, and Grandma Horning.

Grandma Horning and Amaya.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Garage Sales

Once again, my mom held a successful garage sale at her house this year. We had absolutely beautiful weather, with the exception of a cold day on Saturday. There was quite a bit of traffic and quite a lot of buyers. I usually do a bit of "pre-sale" shopping and end up finding the greatest treasures! I found a cute little purse for Amaya that used to be her cousin Lydia's, a light-blue/purple sweater, Swiffer wet jet refills, baskets, picture, books, etc. Our goal this year was to make 150 dollars to put towards a bike trailer for Amaya (pictures to come!). We easily made our goal (even accounting for my earlier purchases!) The total amount made during the sale was almost 1500 dollars. Not too shabby for a weekend.

This was Amaya's second garage sale at Grandma's house. We spent most of our time there and Amaya did great! She loved being outside, watching other kids, shopping, and was able to spend some quality time with Grandpa on wagon rides. Here she's helping Grandma with a customer - masking tape and clothes-pins in hand. I think garage sales are in her blood!

Lydia and Miles spent some time over at the sale as well, so the three of them were able to play together. Lydia is awesome with the two little kids. "Miles, be careful. Amaya, it 's your turn to share the ball. Miles, come here." She's going to be a great babysitter one day.

The best purchase my mom made at the garage sale was this chair. She bought it from Mava for 50 cents! Mom spruced it up and both Amaya and Miles LOVED getting in and out of it. The only problem was that a certain little girl didn't understand why she couldn't STAND on it.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a good bargain. We have had AWESOME garage sales this year and have found unbelievable deals. Our neighborhood held a garage sale the weekend after ours and Steve, Amaya, and I hit about 70 sales in two days! You just never know what you're going to find! Steve has wanted surround sound in our basement for quite a while now, but we've held off because it's around 150 dollars. We found a surround sound system at a garage sale for 8 dollars and it works great! Steve has also been using an empty water bottle to fill our bird feeder and at the same garage sale he found a bird feeder filler funnel (say that three times fast), for only 10 cents! I also found some great deals on clothes for Amaya for the summer and for the fall. I've been wanting to buy some cookie cutters and utensils for her to use with her playdough and I found a huge bag for only 1 dollar! We even found a play vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, and a small bike (for when she gets a little older!) You just never know what you're going to find and the fun is the search. Someone's "junk" could be someone's treasure!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sargent's and Shoes

Tonight I learned a very valuable lesson: Listen to your children. Amaya and I went to Sargent's Nursery to pick out a hanging plant for our front porch. Amaya was fascinated with the flowers and wanted to touch and smell everything. She had such a fun time and didn't want to leave, so it wasn't surprising that when we got in the car she started crying and screaming. Halfway to our house, she started shouting, "SHOES, SHOES, SHOES!" and continued crying. I tried singing, changing the radio station, distraction, but nothing would calm her down. As soon as we got home and I went to unbuckle her from her car-seat, she pointed to her foot and cried, "Shhhhooooe!" SHE'S MISSING ONE OF HER PINK BUTTERFLY SANDALS! Oh, brother... back to Sargent's we go. Fortunately, one of the sales clerks recognized us and had her sandal waiting for us and was planning on calling us if we didn't return. (Very impressive service!) Anyway, I got her buckled back in her car seat and she pointed to her sandals and gave me this great big grin and said, "Shoes!"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Little Miss Independent

Amaya is becoming more and more independent with each passing day. For a few weeks now, she's insisted on feeding herself. Not just the finger food stuff - cereal - mashed potatoes, everything! Call me a little OCD, but I like things neat, organized, and clean. Allowing Amaya to feed herself has been everything BUT neat, organized, and clean. After every meal, I find treasure underneath the cushion of her highchair, half of her meal is on the floor and the other half has managed to work it's way into her hair, eyebrows, ears, and chin folds! No wonder she's still a light-weight! The floor underneath her highchair is permanently sticky. Grrr... Everyone tells me that it will get better... until she gives up her sippy cup and transitions to a big-girl cup. Oh, joy...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Nurse's Week!

I nearly forgot it was Nurse's Week starting today through the 12th of May, until I received a card from my mom yesterday. I haven't heard much about Nurse's Week until this morning when our nurse manager presented us with a pretty journal, pen, and candles from the Department of Dermatology. She also ordered a Chocolate Carrot Cake from Daube's (Yum!) One of our desk staff brought in ice cream bars and someone else brought in GIGANTIC muffins! I honestly thought that there wouldn't be much celebration due to cost-savings, etc. But what a great surprise! To everyone out there who is a nurse: Happy Nurse's Week! You are appreciated!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Playing Outside

Amaya LOVES being outside. Any opportunity to put on her shoes and jacket, she's ready! We've now resorted to spelling "outside" unless we want her to shed unending tears when she can't go. She is learning how to say outside too - but it sounds more like "ow ide." We recently bought her some sand toys and sidewalk chalk and she's had a blast. And of course, she loves to go for a stroller ride or play ball. I can't wait until it gets a little warmer so that we can get the pool out. Last year, she loved being in the pool, so I can only imagine how difficult it will be to get her out of it this year.

Steve cleaned out the garage and took out our deck furniture last week. This picture of Amaya is her sitting in one of the chairs.

This was my riding horse when I was little. Amaya still doesn't quite know how to move forward while she's riding it, but she enjoys sitting, pulling, and petting it.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My First May Day Basket

HAPPY MAY! After my daddy picked me up from Grandma and Grandpa Gustafson's house yesterday, there was a package for me on the front step. In the bag was a package of Gerber fruit snacks and an apple cinnamon granola bar and the bag said, "HAPPY MAY DAY!" I was so excited to try the new snacks! My mommy only buys Gerber Puffs and on special occasions Yogurt Melts because they cost too much money. I'm hoping to convince my mommy to buy some of the granola bars at the store because they were so yummy! We've been trying to figure out who dropped it off... we think it was one of the neighbors with three kids - one of the kids is a few months older than me. I only wish I could have caught them dropping it off, so I could thank them in person. Anyway, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Amaya's Weight Gain!!

Yesterday was Amaya's 15 month doctor's appointment! We are very pleased to report that she has moved out of the 5th percentile in weight to the 12th percentile! Whoo hoo! She's now weighing in at 20.2lbs and is 30 1/2 inches long (the 44th percentile). We've noticed that her 12-18 month clothes are getting shorter in the arms and legs, but they're still baggy around her waist. A couple days ago, she kept taking off her pants because they were too loose in the waist. Amaya's shots went well - and I did okay too! Steve is usually able to come to her appointments with me to be the official restraint holder for Amaya, but I thought I could handle this on my own. No tears on my end and just a few from Amaya. She showed off all her "tricks" for the doctor and the nurse and was pretty excited to run down the hallways. We don't have to go to the doctor again until she turns two. It seems like that's an awfully long time away, but I'm sure it will go by fast.