Thursday, June 28, 2012

January 23, 2013

January 23, 2013 is the expected arrival of..... Baby Gatzke! Amaya's going to be a big sister! Steve and I found out on May 20th and it's been a little crazy and hectic since then. I've never been good at keeping secrets... especially when they are my own... so I called Carol right away since she's THE BEST at keeping secrets and she's the first one we told when we were expecting Amaya. While we didn't time the baby's arrival around Amaya's birthday - January 20th - it just kinda ended up that way. We had always planned that once Steve's health was stable, his job secure, and finances somewhat solid, we'd plan for another baby. And I'm so thankful that God's timing is absolutely perfect and it didnt' take us very long, because I had 19 days off in June during the time when I was feeling the worst! Thank you God!!

We shared the news with Amaya on June 3rd... a little earlier than planned, but only because I was feeling so bad and she was becoming quite concerned. Earlier in March, we bought a t-shirt that said, "Big Sister" and told Amaya that when we had a baby, we would give the shirt to her. I told her that we had a surprise for and her and I wanted her to guess. She said, " Is it cotton candy?" I said, "No," "Is it a toy?" "Nooo, it's a very special t-shirt." When we showed her the t-shirt, she recognized it and gave me lots of hugs! She was VERY EXCITED and even now, she's become quite involved in the process and giving the baby lots of hugs and kisses and telling it she loves it. It's very sweet and I know that she's going to be an awesome big sister!

Later that day, we spent the day with my parent's celebrating my birthday a little early before they left on their trip to Colorado. We had Amaya wear the t-shirt over there to see how long it took for my parents to notice what her shirt said. Needless to say, it didn't take them very long to notice!! Mike and Arwen and the kids came over later for cake and ice cream, and Annika was the first one to notice Amaya's shirt!

We had Steve's parents over for dinner on the 5th to celebrate Ruth Ann's birthday and shared our news in the same way we did when we were expecting Amaya. We wrote the due date on a notecard and wrapped it in tissue paper and put it in a gift bag. When she opened it, Lowell knew right away what the date meant. Ruth Ann said, "It's not our anniversary, because that's the 21st. And it's not Debbie's or Amaya's birthday because that is on the 19th and 20th." After a few minutes... the date sunk in and she got it!

Right now, I'm 10 weeks along...the baby has grown from a seed of an orange to now the size of a lime! We had our first visit with our same OB last week and got to see Baby Gatzke for the first time. Everything is right on track and it was absolutely amazing to see his/her heartbeat fluttering away! It makes the exhaustion, stomach aches, heartburn, and frequent trips to the bathroom all worth it! Our next appointment is July 19th and we can't wait to see how much Baby Gatzke has changed!

We would appreciate all your prayers for a healthy pregnancy. I returned to work this week, and I'm exhausted at the end of the day. However, our OB assures me that I'll get an energy boost in a couple of weeks! Let's hope he's right!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day! My parents invited us over to their house to celebrate and had a wonderful indoor picnic with Kentucky Fried Chicken. 


 It was hot, hot, hot, so we brought Amaya's swimsuit over to run through the sprinkler.

Trying to get a drink of water!


Pure joy!

Ready to go inside...

A little later in the evening, once it had cooled down to a mere 85 degrees... we decided to go for a walk - or as Amaya would call it, "A Parade."

Our "parade" took us a couple of blocks away to my friend, Pauline's house. She gave us a tour of her gardens in the backyard and Amaya got to meet her dog, "Angel." Amaya was a little timid around Angel, but it was obvious she wanted to play with her! 

We had a wonderful day and are grateful for all of those men and women who have served our country!

Soccer Games

Both Lydia and Annika played soccer this year and we were fortunate enough to be able to go to one of their games. Although it was a little hot, it was great to see the two girls in action!


 Dad spoiled us and bought several bags of mini-doughnuts... Amaya ended up eating an entire bag!

 Best buddies... Amaya and Miles watching the game.


Great job Lydia! You did awesome!

After Lydia's game, we went to Annika's game on the other side of town. Makes it a little challenging for Arwen when the two girls play at different soccer fields and sometimes at the same time!

Go Annika!

Miles and Amaya played together pretty hard... so it's no wonder why she looks tired.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mall of America with Jenn and Helen!

May 15th -

Two of my closest friends from college planned a trip up to the Mall of America and we were able to spend an incredible day with them. We hadn't seen Jenn and Helen in almost two years - the last time we got down to Chicago was the summer of 2010. Amaya didn't quite remember them, but she warmed up to them pretty quick. First on Amaya's agenda... RIDES!

Amaya on Blue's Skiddoo

Then we raced over to Swiper's Sweeper. She LOVES this ride!

 We volunteered Helen to take Amaya on the Barnyard Hayride Roller Coaster. I wish we could have captured Helen's expression on camera - I've never laughed so hard!

 On to the Diego Bus Ride...

 The kiddie rides were a little too tame for Miss Amaya... so I thought we'd see if she was tall enough to go on the Pepsi Streak roller-coaster (the green and orange one that goes all over the park). She was tall enough... and brave enough... Jenn and I both went on too! During the entire ride, Amaya kept saying, "This is SO AWESOME!" It was a lot of fun - for all three of us. She didn't have any interest to go on the log ride because she wasn't wanting to get wet (even though I brought extra clothes... go figure.)

I decided to take Jenn on the Sponge Bob ride... yeah, you know the one... straight up, then straight down, then around and around and upside down.... I've been on it a couple of times with my nieces and nephews, but Jenn had never been on it.... brave soul...

Here we are before going on the ride....EEEK!

We were the only two on the ride... right in the front row... and I screamed so much that I lost my voice for the next couple of days. Thanks Jenn for braving the ride with me! 

We ate lunch at the food court and then shopped for a little bit. Amaya is a pretty good shopper considering she's only 4, but after awhile... she wants to do something else. So... we stopped and picked up a snack... and took some random pictures.

Amaya and Jenn

Helen and Amaya

All three!


After our snack, we decided to go miniature golfing. Of all the times we've been to Mall of America, we've never gone miniature golfing. We had a great time and it's a pretty fun course.

 Helen setting up her shot.

 Amaya gets it in!

Jenn attempting to get ahead of Steve.

 Awesome views of the entire theme park!

 Three buddies....

After celebating Steve's win at mini-golfing, we ate at Rainforest Cafe. Amaya was a little nervous about the snakes and the gorillas and the thunder storms, but eventually relaxed when our waitress told her it was all pretend. 

Helen and Amaya checking out the gators.

Throughout the day, Amaya picked up some souveniers with her own money... she bought a bunch of stickers, a Hello Kitty doll, a headband, some taffy for her and Grandma Gustafson... but by the time we got to the American Girl store, she didn't have enough money left over to buy anything. My heart melted for her and I desperately wanted to buy her something for her Bitty Baby, but with Dave Ramsey's voice in my head, we left the store empty handed....

...until Jenn and Helen gave Amaya a little bag ... with some Bitty Baby accessories in it! Amaya was so excited! Thank you Jenn and Helen so much - not only for the gift for Amaya, but for loving and spoiling her so much! The two of you are definitely honorary aunties!

Our day was winding down and we still had the drive back to Rochester... One last picture of everyone...

 Thanks again Jenn and Helen for a great day! We won't forget it in a long time! Come see us again!!!

Mother's Day

May 13th - 

Happy Mother's Day! We had everyone over to our house as usual and I love having our house full of family! Steve woke me up with a very big surprise - I'd been complaining about our camera for years, and he ended up finding an AMAZING deal on a new camera at Herberger's! 75% off - way to go Steve! We weren't going to do anything big for Mother's Day or Father's Day, but he really surprised me! We spent the day practicing with the settings on on the camera, so some of these pictures were a little bit of an experiment.

It was absolutely gorgeous weather, so the kids ate outside on our deck and the rest of us ate in the dining room. We made beef au jus sandwiches, potato salad, chips, corn, and Arwen brought a fruit salad. 

For dessert, I made rhubarb crunch and set up a - make your own sundae station with brownies.

Grandpa and Grandma Horning

Grandma Gustafson and Ben playing HORSE.

Then, we set up a game of croquet. Ben is explaining the rules of the game.

Mike helping Miles line up the perfect shot.

Photo Shoot time!

Annika and Amaya

Amaya and Teagan. Teagan lives across the street from us and doesn't have any siblings, so she's adopted Amaya as her little sister. 

The Gatzke's

Grandma Gustafson, Me, Ben, Arwen, Miles, Amaya, Annika and Lydia.

The Gustafson's

Grandma and Grandpa Gustafson

Happy Mother's Day!