Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Enjoy the last year in your 20's!!!!

Love,
Dee, Josh, and Hilo

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the great state of MN! We hope you are having a fantastic holiday with friends and family!

Josh has had a great Christmas. We have been very busy watching Uncle Jack play hockey, seeing Santa, playing hockey, sledding, visiting with cousins, watching Elmo, and getting very little sleep! He had a great time opening presents this year and started to understand that clothes are boring presents to open. He would pass them off to me as soon as he saw any sign that it wasn't a toy. Too funny - we got it all on video. He got lots of clothes, an Elmo gas station, hockey net/sticks, Elmo videos, and a little Elmo/Cookie monster ball.

We were able to spend some quality time with family and friends and really enjoyed our time. We destroyed our parents house in the process with Mr. Hilo tracking in some #2 on his paw which required a carpet cleaner, Josh coughing a little too hard resulting in him losing his lunch on the freshly shampood carpet, and then ending with the guest bathroom toilet over flowing and the water making it through the floor to the kitchen below. AWESOME!! Well we definitely helped build my mom's case for a new kitchen and flooring on the main level. Ha ha! Thank goodness Josh and Hilo are so cute, because my parents didn't kick us to the curb!
Josh has really missed his uncles since we got home this weekend. He plays with his hockey goal and mini sticks every day and is very good at yelling "Goal" when he scores and quickly follows it up with "Jack" or "Joe". It is nice to see him so comfortable with our family on both sides even though we don't live close by.

Enjoy the pics! Obviously, the first one is our Christmas card which we got a lot of "return to sender" -- so if you didn't get one, sorry! Next was his gift from Jim and I - we bought it for $30 off of Craigslist! Score! And he loves it for now! Then pics of sledding in my parents backyard and trying to play hockey with a big hockey stick. Finally, a pic of my two good high school friends little ones. Sarah (Stoudt) little man Reggie, Josh, and Mandy (Gausman) little girl Stella.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Greatest Article for Parents


My sister-in-law just forwarded a snipet from the Washington Post. It is a must read for any parent... or anyone who doesn't have kids and doesn't understand why your friends with kids have no time for anything... like phone calls or going out.



Friday, December 12, 2008

8 Things!

My cousin Jessie tagged me on this... so here goes!

8 TV shows I love to watch
  1. The Biggest Loser
  2. Grey's - haven't watched yet this season :(
  3. Simpsons
  4. Modern Marvels
  5. Amazing Race
  6. Good Eats
  7. How it's Made (on mute - can't stand the narrators voice)
  8. Family Guy
8 Favorite Restaurants
  1. Apollon in Appleton (Greek Restaurant)
  2. Sawatdee in Maple Grove (Thai)
  3. Ruth Chris Steak House
  4. Victoria's in Appleton (Italian)
  5. Quiznos (they taste so good, and there a $1 off)
  6. Chipotle
  7. Texas Roadhouse
  8. Solea in Neenah (Mexican)
8 Things that Happened Today
  1. Showered
  2. Worked
  3. Ate lunch with coworkers
  4. Got a call from daycare that Josh got bit again!
  5. Got officially registered in the MBA program at UW Oshkosh
  6. Had a parent/teacher conference with daycare
  7. Watched a new Elmo video with Josh
  8. Went to a holiday dinner with our friends

8 Things I Look Forward To

  1. Christmas in MN
  2. Seeing Josh open his presents
  3. Watching my brother Jack (Hill Murray Varsity) play hockey
  4. A clean house
  5. Cross country skiing this weekend
  6. Building a gigantic snowman in our front yard
  7. All inclusive Mexico trip in March
  8. My MIS final exam being done tonight!
8 Things On My Wish List
  1. No more car trouble. Finally paid off. And had $1000 of work done this month. Karma.
  2. Safe travels for friends and family over the holidays
  3. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac return the $750 Billion to the real working Americans who don't play with money like it is monopoly money.
  4. Healthcare infrastructure that information is readily shared between all of your doctors/pharmacists so you don't repeat tests or get treated right - sooner.
  5. People in the senate, congress, state offices actually work for the people of this country rather than those that give them ridiculous amounts of money.
  6. A good prognosis for my friends mom diagnosed with AML.
  7. Healthy/Happy 2009.
  8. A new master bathroom.
8 People I Have Tagged, DO IT!
  1. Michelle
  2. Emily V.
  3. Kara
  4. Mandy G.
  5. Ami
  6. Liz
  7. Sarah T.
  8. Sam S.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What a fantastic Thanksgiving!


Nana and my Aunt Ann came into town the weekend before Thanksgiving to hang out with Josh and of course help us with some organization/redecorating. For 3 years our office has been the dumping ground. We never organized it and it was pretty much the place were random stuff was stored. We got some bedroom furniture from a friend that we had no room for... So Ann and my mom went to work. They were able to get one of the full beds from the upstairs bedroom down into the office after they had completely reorganized. Then the new furniture fit perfectly in the upstairs bedroom. YAY! Josh got lots of playtime as usual and showed them how much he loves Hockey and playing with his trains. Can't wait to spend more time with them over Christmas.

We left late Tuesday night for MI to visit Jim's family for Thanksgiving. The drive went pretty well for Josh. He just doesn't sleep like he did when he was under 6 months old! But the DVD player helps tremendously. We spent the week hanging out with G'ma and G'pa Kirkwood, Aunts and Uncles, Cousin Izzy and Charlotte, Great G'mas, and friends. Josh and Izzy got along very well throughout the week. Izzy got very good at saying Josh. Although we confirmed they are complete opposites on a few things. Izzy is a morning person, Josh looks like he needs some coffee to get going. Izzy loves Dora... Josh loves Thomas the train. Izzy loves to dance... Josh loves to play hockey and throw balls around. By the end of the trip they were holding hands where ever they went. It was ridiculously cute. I hope they stay close even though we don't live nearby.

I pretty much cuddled with Miss Charlotte all weekend - it was my excuse to get a nap in every day. ha ha! I forget how snuggly newborns are!

The drive back was horrendous. It took 10 hours. Josh did very well through it all - only one stop. He slept for the first 3 hours - record by the way. Then watched a few movies including Ice Age - loves the tiger and saying baby! We were all very happy to be home. Josh went to bed without even a peep last night... but woke up at 6am ready to play. Yikes!

Josh Updates:
  • Potty trips are still the same. Once every other day or so. And he still actually goes to the bathroom.
  • He is loving Mommy a lot lately. Could this be the switch to a mama's boy? I think it was because I caved in during the MI trip and let him sleep with us. Dad got booted to the couch and Josh and I slept in the big bed. If that is what it takes to get A#1 Status... I will take it! ha ha
  • He says all of his g'parents names now. Although Jim and I are likely the only ones to understand.
  • He is really starting to talk more and string words together. My favorite is Elmo which sounds like Melmo.
  • He loves helping out with chores. Dishes, throwing away garbage, wiping down tables and counters with wash cloths/tissue/towels, putting toys away, folding laundry.

They seriously grow up so fast! After holding Charlotte I couldn't help but look at Josh and think - what happened to my baby?

Monday, November 17, 2008

He did it!

2 things.

First - Josh was very very upset today when he came home from school. Jim and I spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out what was wrong. He was just plain old sad. He kept pointing to the basement door and saying, "football". We kept trying to tell him that football wasn't on right now. At somepoint one of us mentioned Steve and Josh loudly said, "Yes". So Jim said Steve again and Josh said Yes and started bouncing in Jim's arms. So Jim went downstairs with him to show him that Shannon and Steve already left. Oh the crocodile tears started flowing! How cute to know he misses them!

Second - Josh again tried the potty. But this time he did go #2 and giggle the entire time. We spent about 3 minutes playing catch while he sat there. Finally I asked if he was done. We cleaned him up and started to head downstairs when he started pointing back up at the bathroom. So I brought him back up there and asked if he wanted to sit on it again. I figured it was now a "game". I got him back up there and sat on the side of the tub ready to play some more catch. Then I heard the sound of #1!!! I seriously screamed like I had won a million dollars. He was giggling the whole time. It has to be the bigger kids in the class using the potty. CRAZY!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Such a Big Boy

Josh has recently been noticing when he "goes". He started pulling at his diaper one day (few weeks ago) and I asked, "Do you have to go potty?". To my surprise he clearly replied, "Yes". He started walking to the bathroom and I followed. I put him on the potty and the first time he totally freaked out. The next time, he sat a little longer. This week, he found the seat that goes on a regular toilet and sat on it on the floor in his room. I asked if he had to go potty and he again replied, "Yes". So I sat him on the big toilet with his Elmo seat. He sat there for a good minute or two, enough for Jim to come up and take a picture. He only went #2 once in all the times we have used the potty. And I am pretty sure he didn't even know he did it. But he doesn't seem to be afraid of it which is a good thing I guess. I don't expect him to be potty trained anytime soon, but just think it is pretty cool that he is interested in at least sitting on it. He even pulls at the toilet paper roll and rubs his belly with it, then throws it into the toilet. So apparently that is what he thinks we do with it. Ha ha!

My sister and brother-in-law came into town this weekend. I was lame on Friday and was in bed by the time they got into town. I had the GRE exam on Saturday morning and from the 2/3 scores they gave me, I passed. Phew! Hoping the scores get sent to school soon so I can start taking the MBA courses this spring. Saturday we hung out all day at home, Shannon and Steve played with Josh ALL DAY. He loved it! Josh and Steve played hockey and hide and seek all weekend. Steve was showing Josh how to juggle the ping pong ball on the knee hockey stick. Josh grabbed his stick and tried very hard to keep that ball on there. It was so cute! Aunt Shannon got lots of hugs and cuddle time with Mr. Josh.

We went out on the town Saturday night. We started with a martini at the DejaVu Martini lounge... which is definitely not the same type of DejaVu as in major cities... in case you went there. Then to our favorite Speakeasy. We got a booth again and were able to just chat and enjoy the people watching. We got a cab back home and to our surprise, Josh was wide awake with Sam the babysitter. I think he was concerned that we weren't home. Because as soon as we got there, he gave us all hugs and let Shannon put him to bed. Too cute!

Today we were complete couch potatoes. It felt great not to have to study for the GRE anymore and to actually watch TV. So I did it all weekend. Now off to my soccer game. Have a good week everyone! Notice Josh's haircut. After the picture on the potty, I gave him a bath and realized that he needed another haircut. So I went to town. I think it turned out okay...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

18 Months Old

Josh had his 18 month check-up this week and confirmed that he is growing like crazy. He is 34.5 inches tall - jumped up from the 24% to the 97%! His weight and height were right on track. The doctor asked a lot of behavioral questions like:

  1. Can he say more than 5 words? Yes - Dadda, Mamma, Nanna, Puppy, Nuk, Soccer, Hockey, Ball, Elmo, Spongebob, Choo Choo, blueberry, Hi,
  2. Does he run? Oh yes! He doesn't bend his knees though so it is pretty funny to watch.
  3. Does he walk backwards? I said I didn't think so. When I told Jim later than night he proceeded to show me that when Josh is cornered, he will take a few steps back. So the answer I found out was yes.
  4. Does he eat with a fork or spoon? Yes. He is actually pretty good at it too! Thanks to daycare for getting him started.
  5. Can he stack two blocks on top of one another? Easily. He is really into the jumbo legos right now and putting them together to make garages for his trucks.
  6. Does he eat a healthy diet? Yes. He loves fruit, vegetables, dairy, and spaghetti. He knows how to make toast and understands that when the light goes off it is time to pull it out of the toaster. He loves vanilla yogurt with frozen fruit. And eats just about every vegetable. So it is pretty easy to feed him.

We only had a flu shot this time. But I had a lot of questions again regarding vaccines and the link to autism. I have a friend who is very against vaccines and we had a very interesting discussion about it. I didn't have much to offer to the conversation and was frustrated. Our doctor was very understanding and spent a good 5 minutes just answering my questions. It was nice to just talk - rather than be preached to. The doctor gave me a pretty good article to read. It was interesting and gave me some new perspectives on vaccinations. At the end of the day - every parent needs to determine what is best for their child. It is just frustrating at times, because there is no end to the worrying. And people always have something to say about what the right thing is. We just keep trying to do the right thing!

Pictures: My parents came out to visit this month and we went to an apple orchard. They made the carmel apples right in front of you - they were DELICIOUS! For Halloween, Josh was a Lion. We went Trick-Or-Treating with the neighbors, Mike, Jodi, and their daughter Brayden. She was dressed up as Thomas the Train. Josh thought that was pretty cool! They did really well and made it around most of the neighborhood. We dressed up too. Jim and I went as Betty and Barney Rubble. We definitely got some good looks from people!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

October already??

The days continue to fly by. We had a rough couple of weeks with Josh. It started the weekend in MN for the reunion. He ate a ridiculous amount of spaghetti before we got into the car. My friend Tyler brought us as he was in the Twin Cities for a Ultimate Frisbee tournament. He dropped us off at my parents about 11 pm. And that is when the fun began. Poor kid puked all over the kitchen floor and me. I figured he was car sick. Then about 30 minutes later. He puked again. So into the tub we both went. After I cleaned up and started the second load of laundry, I got him to fall asleep. He woke up at 4am with a fever. The next morning he was completely fine. All day he ate and played and even napped just like normal. At 1pm, he puked. WHAT? So I was a little nervous about going to the reunion, but my sister said she really didn't mind watching him.

Reunion - it was fun to see people, but I guess I didn't feel like I had enough time to talk to my good friends. They were trying to talk to everyone they usually don't see... so I was busy trying to chase them all down. But all in all it was good.

Back to Josh. So he was fine the rest of the weekend other than running that darn fever. So we kept switching between motrin and tylenol. He willingly took the baby anbesol stuff and so I figured it was his teeth that were causing the problem. My neighbors confirmed that both of their kids puked when the incisor teeth came in. So the entire week we fought the fever, read lots of books, and loaded him up on frozen peas and blueberries - loves them when his teeth hurt.

We were home for the last weekend of September and took Josh swimming. He loved it as usual. Last week I was in Chicago all week for Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training. And I actually enjoyed it. I found it refreshing that a company was spending the money to send everyone (HR, finance, engineering, planning, customer service) to this type of training. Granted everyone got different levels of it... but I see how people are using the training everyday at my plant... from HR to the operators on the floor. And things are actually improving.

I couldn't wait to get home and see Josh. So when training got over 2 hours early - I didn't even think that meant I would have to go back to work. So I got Josh out of daycare around 1pm and we went to the park. It was so fun! My boss called while we were there... I didn't try to cover it up and his response - "Good for you, I will keep this short". He then said - I would like you to go to Mich Tech next week and find us a Spring/summer coop for the plant. I was like - um - OKAY! :) Although not liking the idea of traveling 2 weeks in a row... a free trip to Houghton. Definitely not going to pass that up!

Spent the rest of the weekend as a Mom and Josh weekend. It was a blast. We went to a different YMCA this time and the pool was much better. Josh could walk in the water all by himself and play with all the fountains. He played for 1.5 hours until I finally was sick of being a prune. We got all dressed and then went and played on the indoor playground. Then headed to my girlfriend Mandy's for playtime with her two kids. Josh and I crashed when we finally got home. The picture of all the kids in the kennel, yep - her two little ones and Josh. Hilo is such a good dog!

Josh has started doing this funny smile thing whenever he does something new. He just grins super big and cheesy and tilts his head. It is the funniest thing. Today he helped me clean, and I mean really clean. He dusted and helped wipe the floors. Any chance this will last? A clean boy? Hmm... A mom can dream!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Changes

September has been flying by. I realize that I say this quite a bit... but seriously. Time is flying by. We went to the MN state fair before Labor Day weekend. It was great food as usual. We tried to go to all the barns, but most were closed for cleaning of some sort. Then we were up at the lake visiting my family for Labor Day. Josh loved swimming and playing in the sand. Hilo even went for a swim. We visited my Great Great Grandma Leona during the trip too. She is all settled in her new place and had a lot to show us. It is hard to see her getting older, I have known her my entire life and to think that she won't be here is just crazy. I am glad Josh has been able to spend some time with her too. She is 96 and still walking and able to remember who we all are! What a blessing!

We have had a few weekends home. Which is fantastic. We hung out with our new neighbors who are great - a younger couple with one daughter (4 yrs old). Work is going well. I started school again and actually signed up to take the GRE... Grad school will start in January. YIKES. Am I really ready to commit??

I have my 10 year H.S. reunion this Saturday. 10 YEARS! I actually had a dream last night about a few people in my class that I haven't thought about in years! I will blame that on facebook as everyone is looking for everyone else, I am sure trying to prepare for Saturday's events. I am looking forward to seeing people... secretly wishing that some people whom I particularly didn't like are not going to be there. But I don't have to talk to them I guess.

Let's see. Josh. He is just getting so big. I am amazed everyday by something new he has learned. Right now we are working on shoes. He will go get them, sit down in front of me, and unvelcro them. He tries so hard to get them on but just isn't able to. He LOVES to try though. He is saying Blueberry, Nuk, Hi, and Puppy all the time now. It is very difficult to understand, but Jim and I get what he is saying. Glad that sign language still helps everyone else!

This week I decided to give him a bath. Although this time I hopped in there with him. He thought that was HILARIOUS! Because he could really splash me this time. Well he decided to drink some of the bath water... and got too much so he started coughing. And then it turned into vomitting. AWESOME! So I quickly yelled for Jim... got Josh out of the tub and proceeded to drain the tub with floating cheerios. As I am doing this, Josh is leaning over the tub wearing his hooded towel and saying "BLAAAHHH" like he is still puking. Little S#$%. ha ha. He knew exactly what he did. All we could do was laugh.

I love being a parent. But will never opt for a bath again. I am glad it wasn't the other end.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Congratulations Matt and Ami!

Zachary Matthew
Born: September 4, 2008
@ 9:15am
Weight: 9lbs 5 oz
Height: 22 inches

A big healthy little boy! Mom, Dad, and Zachary are doing fantastic! They are having issues posting to their blog... So I figured I would atleast post it on mine!

Can't wait to see pics!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another trip to MI

This weekend we went to MI for Matt and Meagan Baker's reception. They got married back in February with a small group of people. So this was the big party. They had a pigroast on Meagan's dad's farm. It was a really awesome relaxing weekend!

We left Friday night around 6:30pm and got to his sisters apartment around 3am MI time. It was actually a good drive. I being an engineer came up with a way to cover Josh so that the lights from oncoming cars and the street didn't wake him up.

Step 1: Take a bungee cord and connect it to the handles on either passenger side (on ceiling).
Step 2: String "Neat Sheet" so half is hanging on either side of the bungee cord.
Step 3: Tuck the end of the sheet behind headrest of the seat where carseat is located.
Step 4: Tuck the other end of the sheet around the front of the front passenger seat.
Step 5: Pull the edges of both sides down so they overlap and create a little tent.

I have pictures... Jim laughed at me because I even had a scratch paper drawing of it and was all excited to tell him about it when I got home. But - it worked. He didn't like the stuff hanging over him when he wasn't tired. But when he started getting tired I gave him his pacifier and pulled the sides down. It was so dark under there he konked right out!

G'ma and G'pa came up to GV to stay with Catherine and watch Josh for the night. Jim and I camped out after the reception with about 20 others. It was FREEZING. It had been so hot and muggy all day and then the fog came in and everything was soaking wet. We didn't bring sleeping bags, just sheets because we didn't think it would be that cold. FREEZING. I feel like I am still warming up!

The drive back on Sunday went well too. All in all a GREAT trip again. We are getting pretty darn good at this. Maybe I should write a book! ha ha!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer is almost over...

The end of summer is SO CLOSE! It went WAY too fast!

Josh had a great week! He has learned a few knew things that have surprised Jim and I. The other night I came home to see him walking around the kitchen with his mouth open and tongue out panting. I looked at Jim and he said, "Josh is copying Hilo". So I naturally said, "Josh, what does Hilo do?". He looked up at me like it was the greatest thing in the world, stuck out his tongue and started panting. HILARIOUS!

Other random things he is mastering:
  • Saying "HI". He drags it out for like 5 seconds and says it all sincere.
  • Shaking his head yes when he agrees with what we ask.
  • Shaking his head no when he doesn't.
  • Putting his toys away when we ask him to.
  • Giving Hilo a treat and locking up the kennel when we are ready to leave. No lie.
  • Going down the stairs the right way. Jim and I caught him practicing on the bottom 5 stairs... over and over for about 5 minutes. I had shown him the night before... and there he was practicing all by himself.
  • Saying Moo, Heee, and roar (complete with clawing motions) for cow, horse, and lion.
  • The cap to my night facial cream. On, off, on, off... forever.
  • The buckles on everything stroller/carseat/seatbelts/highchair
  • Eating with a spoon and out of a real bowl

It is crazy to look back at pictures from a year ago... because he doesn't even look the same to me. He has got this thick/wavy strawberry blonde hair, big huge blue eyes with long lashes, and a mouthful of teeth. Everytime I read to him or get him to sit long enough on my lap, I realize just how quickly he is growing up. TEAR!

Recommendation: I just read the book, "Love and Logic Magic for Early Parenthood". It was a little cheesy at first with the examples, but it gets better. It is a somewhat common sense approach to discipline. But we tried it on Josh this week and it worked ridiculously well. He is usually pretty crabby when we get home from daycare and wants to be held non-stop. So when it gets to the point that he starts throwing things he asks for, we say "Looks like some room time" and bring him up to his crib. He cries for a little bit but then settles down and just hangs out. After a few minutes one of us will go up there and ask if he would like to come out and have some fun. He shakes his head yes, we give him tons of high fives/hugs, and he is fine the rest of the night. Still hasn't become a habit... but rather than counting to 3 which never worked, or timeout chairs which he would never stay in... this seems much more promising.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A very crazy week!

Last weekend it was a Mom and Josh weekend. Dad was on his annual baseball trip with his high school buddies. We started off the weekend watching the Olympics. Josh was mesmerized by the opening ceremony... and would start clapping when he saw me or people on TV clap. I am a bit obsessed with the olympics and always have been. So Josh had the crap scared out of him on a few occasions when either we won or made a really dumb mistake - like the mens soccer team getting a very stupid penalty in the box... which let them tie it up... Josh actually started crying that time because I yelled so loud and didn't follow it up with clapping. Poor kid!

Saturday morning we had our 2nd 10K run for the summer. Kelly and Maverick (14mos), Mandy and her two kids Eric (2.5) and Willa (17mos), Melanie and Stella (2.5), and Mel's sister Deb ran with us. Mandy, Kelly, and I stuck to the 5 min run 1 min walk. For the first 3 miles it was tempting to skip the walk... but we were able to keep running at the end so it was worth it. My personal goal was to finish in less than 1 hour and 10 minutes. I finished with 1 minute to spare! Meaning I finished 1 minute faster than the first 10K I ran this summer and I pushed Josh the entire way!! I was pretty darn happy. This means I am actually getting faster. Crazy that 10 years ago I was running 6:21 mile pace. I am going to blame it on the beer.

Later that afternoon we met Kelly and Maverick at the Building for Kids for some playtime. Again - such an awesome place for all ages. We grabbed dinner at The Bar on the ave and sat outside... almost 1 year to the day that we had the boys in their carseats in strollers... praying they wouldn't wake up and want to nurse. WOW time flies!

Sunday Josh and I went to Church and breakfast. Wow is it ever difficult with only one parent! Any of you have tips on how to keep them entertained during Church? We don't want to go into the nursery because we feel that it will only encourage him to play and will be difficult to break him later on. All in all - it was a GREAT mom/Josh weekend... I think his daddy phase maybe over after this fun weekend! ha ha!

Jim got home late Monday night. Tuesday Josh had a high fever and sore bum. THOSE DARN TEETH!!! I feel horrible for him because his gums are so swollen... these are hopefully it though! Our favorite remedy - Motrin, Desitin, and frozen blueberries and peas. Wednesday I flew to Toronto for work. It was a really good trip, I was visiting another Alcan plant that we supply film to. Traveling was actually pretty easy too which is always nice.

This weekend we did a ton of yard work again. And we bought an invisible fence.... FINALLY. I just hope Hilo isn't the crazy type that just bolts thru and keeps on going!

Pictures - First few are from the race. The group pic from L --> R is Maverick, Kelly, Willa, Mandy, Eric, Deb, Mel, Stella, Me, Josh. Next pic is of the little ones all on the slide going the wrong way (Maverick, Willa, Josh, Eric is hidden). And finally the pictures of Josh today. He is very independent/demanding these days. I knew he was hungry and after a few attempts of getting him into the highchair… I brought the frozen fruit in a bowl and brought it outside. I put it on his little car and took a few for myself. Then Jim and I ignored him. Within 10 seconds he was over there eating them like crazy. Then he was happy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A visit to MI

This weekend we went to MI for our friend Sarah's wedding. We left Thursday night really late hoping Josh would sleep the entire trip. He was out until about Milwaukee and wouldn't go back to sleep until we got through Chicago. I think it was all the city lights that were flashing by. So I gave up trying to cover all the windows with blankets and opted for the DVD player. That thing is fantastic. We bought this from Target on one of the trips to MN because Josh just isn't diggin the 4 hour plus car rides anymore. It has been a lifesaver!
We watched baby elmo and some Thomas the train. He hadn't ever seen Thomas the Train before that I know of but you should have seen his little legs kick when the movie started. I felt kinda guilty getting the DVD player... because our parents didn't need things like this when we were this age... but then I also need to remember that our parents didn't take us on road trips this often and this far until we were much older.
Josh got to hang out with G'ma and G'pa all weekend long and then with his cousin Izzy and aunt and uncle on Saturday night. He just loves seeing them. At one point we were sitting in the family room and G'pa got up to go downstairs... As soon as he got out of sight Josh started crying... G'pa stopped and waited for him to get over there to bring him along... it was cute!
The wedding was a great time! Congrats Sarah and Mike! Explanation of pictures... well only the one... I took a few snapshots of the dance floor during the last song... And April couldn't have timed it any better. And the outfit on Josh... seriously cute. Best part - $2.00 at Once Upon a Child. NICE!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A weekend home

After 3 consecutive weekends of traveling... it was finally a weekend home. I ran a 5K with my girlfriends on Saturday morning. Mandy made the three of us shirts that said, M. O. M. on the front, and Move Over Mister on the back. The kids all had shirts that said "Faster Mama". It was way too cute and got a lot of laughs out of everyone running.

Mandy and I had the grand master plan to have her 3 year old Eric hang out with Jim while we put the two one year olds into her double running stroller. That way we could take turns pushing the stroller and go faster. About 2 seconds before the start her 3 year old decided to run the first block with us. Unfortunately he started sprinting and got tripped up by some people in front. So he was crying and Mandy ran over to him leaving me to push the stroller. I quickly realized that this stroller was very different from the one I had been running with. She has the type that can be pulled behind a bike and had the front wheel in swivel mode. I was used to the BOB she lets me borrow that has a fixed wheel requiring me to push down on the handle to lift the front wheel for each big turn. Since it always ran straight, I was able to just push with one hand. This double stroller required two hands and much more concentration. Plus I always start out way too fast with adrenaline for races. So about 1/4 mile into the race we had to go onto the bridge... I took the turn to quickly and the kids bounced over the retaining wall and into the flower bed. This is why they have a 5 point harness! ha ha!

Mandy just laughed... kids were just fine and all we needed to do was pull them back out. She took the stroller duty for the rest of the run. Mel kicked our butt with 29 min... Mandy finished with the two little ones around 31 minutes... and I brought up the rear all by myself at 34 minutes. Eric helped me feel a little better and ran the last block with me. At one point in the race we were going over this walking bridge and some teenagers were fishing off the side. They were watching the runners go by and noticed my shirt and that I wasn't pushing a stroller... They yelled - "where is your stroller slacker?" I dont' even know what I said... but the rest of that run I thought about all the awesome responses I should have said. Next time I will be prepared! ha ha!

The rest of the weekend we did stuff around the house. Lame but so nice at the same time!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Congratulations Blair and Chris!

This weekend we went back to MN for my BFF Blair's wedding. It was a very fun weekend! Jim and I went to the rehearsal Friday night and it was at the same location we had our rehearsal dinner. The weather was much cooler and everyone hung out playing lawn games until dark. Then the party moved to Blair's parents house. People were partying pretty hard since the wedding wasn't until late Saturday afternoon!

Saturday the weather started out beautiful, but about 2 pm the rain came in... And so her outdoor wedding was quickly turned into an indoor ceremony! Blair's response was well this way Chris can't see me until I am walking down that aisle! Such an optimistic gal! The wedding went beautifully and the reception was a great time. I was on the dance floor the entire night as usual, however didn't have as many of the AZ folks as I had hoped... so with some liquid courage I grabbed the microphone from the DJ and yelled "AZ sucks! MN rules". Yeah. Awesome. I was that girl.

Josh was a hit all day. There were a few little tikes including one incredibly smart family who brought an exersaucer in for their 8 month old to play in during the appetizers and dinner. SMART! Josh thought it was really fun to walk from the table Daddy was at, through three rows of tables and around the big long table to sit with Mom. He would have a bite of my food and then head on back to Dad. It kept him happy!
We managed to get a full family picture at the wedding and we all look pretty nice. We couldn't get Josh to smile for some reason... he looks more freaked out at the people trying to get him to smile than anything!
We got to meet Miss Stella Guth this weekend at the wedding. She is my friend Mandy from high schools baby girl. I hope we get to see her again soon!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Our Annual Camping Trip

This weekend we had our annual camping trip with my siblings and cousins. This year we had two little ones along - this trip is changing with each passing year! Lillian is only 4 months old and was a real trooper.

It was ridiculously muggy when we arrived on Friday night. My cousin Pat greeted me with a can of bugspray and said load up. He was right! I avoid bugspray at all costs... but when you are afraid to inhale a mosquito because they are so thick... bugspray was a great option. Poor Josh had so many bugbites on his face - I finally just put it all over his face with my hands... seemed to help a little. That night it stormed really bad. I kept hitting Jim and asking if he thought it was bad enough yet to go to the main office. He kept responding, "No, go to sleep". The lightning was ridiculous and with each flash of light I would count... some were not even 2 seconds before the booming thunder... and there Josh and Jim snored away... About 3 am, I must have yelled because my sister yelled from her tent - "Danielle what should we do?". I laughed but was somewhat relieved to know I wasn't the only one FREAKED out that a tree was going to fall on us, we were going to be struck by lightening, or both! The storm finally passed and we all finally got some sleep!

Saturday we went to the pool and hung out all day. Josh slept most of the afternoon in the tent with dad... He wasn't that into the pool, but loved sitting with Aunt Shannon and eating anything she put in front of him. That night we partied it up at the campfire... played some cards... and of course tippy cup. We had a LOT of good laughs!

Sunday morning we woke up, had breakfast, and just started packing up the site. We got in the car and went out to take the annual picture. None of us knew it was only 10 am! Gotta love little ones who wake you up at the same time everyday no matter where you are!

I wonder who will be joining us next year???

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The 4th of July at the cabin

We were able to take a few extra days off of work this week and head up to Northern MN to enjoy the water and sun... We drove to the Twin Cities on Tuesday night and then to the lake Wednesday morning. This helped break of the long drive for Josh, although about 3.5 hours seems to be his breaking point now.

Wed-Friday it was my parents, my brother Jack, sister Shannon, BIL Steve, Aunt Ann, and cousins Dan and Derek. We went on walks, did some shopping, and played in the water. Josh was loving it! His first few steps on the sand were the most amusing. He would hold one foot up about 3 inches from the sand and scrunch up his face in protest... by the end of hte week he was building sand castles and throwing it. He didn't try putting it in his mouth ever, thankgoodness! We got him a little float with sunshade from Target that he absolutely loved. The water is super shallow near the beach to the end of the dock (only up to my knees at the end) so he thought he was pretty cool walking up and down the dock to the various people sitting in the water. Too cute! Josh thoroughly enjoyed all the attention! He took a nap each day in someone's arms on the swing... because going to bed in the cabin was not an option with so much activity. We even got him and Lillian (my cousin Pat's daughter) to meet for the first time! He gave her lots of kisses and would point at her face... we had to keep reminding him to be gentle.

Saturday a few more relatives came up for the night. We got a big game of baseball going in the lake which was really fun. We were in the water pretty much all day. That night our neighbor lit off fireworks in celebration of the fourth and his daughters graduation from high school. They were by far the best he has ever done. All of us gals sat on the dock and got covered in the remnants because they were booming right above us, it was SWEET! Okay I will admit, a little scary too. Josh didn't wake up even for a second!

Sunday we made the big trek home... we drove to the cities again and let Josh run around my parents place for a while. Then hopped back in the car and made the rest of the trip home. It was definitely a struggle toward the end. I didn't even attempt to sit in front this time, Hilo got shotgun and I sat in the back with Josh. Everyone driving by us must have thought we were nuts! I used to always think it was weird to see mom sitting in the backseat... but now I completely understand why!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The rest of June

June started to get pretty hectic towards the end... or at least busy!! Lets see...




Weekend of June 20-22:


Friday we went to Chicken Fest and met up with friends to play at the park. Josh had a lot of fun playing with his friends at the park. Later we danced to some music and watched fireworks. Josh was mesmerized by the bright lights. No tears!

Saturday I ran the YMCA 2 mile Mom's run with my girlfriends Mandy and Melanie. I have decided that I always start way too fast. This trail covered everything from asphalt to rocks to dirt! It was tough! The last two pictures on this post show how much Josh enjoys the runs... he has his sippy cup, snacks, hat, sunglasses... loving life! The last one is of him watching Eric (Mandy's 3 yr old) run his race.

Sunday we likely went to Church and breakfast... don't recall... :)



Weekend of June 27-29:

On Friday Jim's family came into town for a weekend visit. It was a BLAST!! They all arrived late on Friday night and Josh woke up just to say hello. Miss Izzy was very tired and slept.

Saturday we had breakfast and relaxed for a while at the house. Izzy and Josh got in a morning nap and then we went to the Building for Kids. Although I thought it was on the spendy side - $6.50 per person (including the 13 month olds!)... it was a very cool place. Josh loved the water room - they have rainjackets of all sizes that the kids can put on to keep them from getting too wet. There were 3-4 water tables with lots of trinkets and things to play with. Josh again - Loved It. Then we explored the rest of the building and saw a sports zone with mini golf - which Izzy didn't like anyone leaving the clubs on the green... And a firetruck with mini firefighter outfits to wear... And a huge mousetrap type room with balls that went everywhere... After about an hour of this place you could tell the little ones were on sensory overload... so we called it a day. That night we had a big dinner and played a few board games.

Sunday we had a nice big breakfast and said our good-bye's. It was a blast having them visit and so fun to see Josh excited to see them too!

Latest updates on Josh is his sign language. We have been teaching him milk, juice, more, bath, please, swing, and don't touch. He regularly signs milk, juice, more, bath, and please. I was so excited when I picked him up from daycare the other day and he gave me the sign for please... It was so ridiculously cute! This could be a problem in the future! And it really does work! Believe me - in the middle of the night... we are much better at figuring out the issue. Ha ha!

Another new not so awesome habit is the fact that Josh is waking up at 4:58am... and has been for a few weeks now. I couldn't find anything in my "sleep problems" book so I decided to email the author himself, Dr. Ferber. Within 1 hour I received a response back with a plan to move his bedtime back (which we had tried) but he said it can take up to 7 days to get him to wake up later. And after 6 days... we officially have him going to bed between 8-8:30 pm and waking up around 6:30am. We determined that this all started once he got comfortable in his new room at daycare... he started taking a 2 hour solid nap each day... and that meant he didn't need the 11-12 hours at night. Lesson learned - don't be afraid to email an author... sometimes they could surprise you and actually respond! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

WALKING....

Josh has officially started walking. Since about February I have been waiting for this... up until last weekend he would take about 5 steps without holding onto anything. Then this Friday... he took a few more and quickly grabbed onto the nearest peice of furniture. That night he walked from the kitchen table into the family room all by himself! Which is like 20 steps!

He is so serious when he walks and as soon as he realizes someone is watching he starts to go faster and gets this big grin on his face right before he tumbles. It is SO amazing to see how much he has grown!

In other news... Jim and I completed the 10K this weekend that we had set out to do. Our friends Bob and Mandy along with their two kids and then another friend Melanie and her daughter all ran the race. Jim and Bob decided to start out pushing the strollers. The first 2 miles were CRAZY. There were over 15,000 people running. They had those with strollers start after all the runners and at the same time as the walkers... DUMB! At least let us go after the runners but BEFORE the walkers. So for the first 2 miles we literally zig zagged through hundreds of people... and sprinting... walking... sprinting... walking. Finally we seemed to get to an area that we could actually run and I looked at Mandy and she said, "If we keep this up there is no way I am running the whole way". I completely agreed. So we watched as the boys pushed the strollers like crazy men. They finished about 3 minutes ahead of us gals. But we had a blast!

New job - many of you have been asking how the new job is going. Well I am on week 2 and so far really like it. It is very different compared to my old job. I have spent most of my time out on the machine floor talking with operators, following them around to learn the equipment, and getting to know my fellow process engineers and shift supervisors. I am really the only female in the engineering group, but there are a few females in the building that I interact with on a daily basis who are very bright and know exactly how to get things done. My hours haven't changed much except that I am much more in control of my schedule. At KC we were in meetings about 90% of the time so getting any work done seemed to require longer hours. Granted I am only into week 2, but it seems that the others in my position have a very good work/life balance. We are on call, but it is almost always something you can answer over the phone. So more to come...

Couple of things I have laughed about since switching jobs.


  1. Whenever refering to my previous job I start with "We" blah blah blah. I wonder how long it will take to stop doing that.

  2. All the acronyms... everyone has them. And it is incredibly hard to keep up with conversations when you don't know them.

  3. I had to call the help desk to get my email to work... I couldn't understand a word the guy said. I finally had to tell him, "I am sorry but I can't understand a single word you are saying, could you please talk slower." Later I found out the help desk is in Mexico. So I traded India for Mexico. When are we going to outsource to Canada? ha ha!

  4. Microsoft Office. I didn't realize how much I knew about it until I opened up Lotus Notes. I am getting used to it. But definitely not the same.

  5. I thought my email was down today because I only received 3 emails all day. One from my sister, my mom, and one from a friend. And there was only one meeting on my calendar for the entire week. The co-op cleared it up though... emails are only a formality... and meetings happen on the floor.

So that is the Kirkwood 411. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Week of vacation

Started off the week of vacation with a road trip to MN to meet up with my sister, catch a plane to Phoenix and meet up with Miss Blair. We flew first class thanks to my moms free upgrade certificates. So nice to just relax and have a few drinks. That night we went to dinner with Blair and her fiance Chris and relaxed over some more drinks. Sunday morning we went for a walk, headed to a pool for the afternoon. My sister and Blair love laying in the sun... me not so much. I can do it for about 10 minutes... then I need to find something to do. I kept myself busy by doing water exercises, reading magazines, and eating. ha ha!

We went back to the airport to pick up my mom and drove to dinner. We did some shopping then drove to my aunts in Cave Creek. Their house was beautiful. Monday we went shopping with Barb and had some lunch. That evening we went to dinner with Barb and Paul. Hung out at their place and of course had to watch the bachelorette. That night was hilarious... Shannon and I were sleeping on a sleep number bed and trying to figure out what number to try. We were goofing around so my mom decided to come figure out what we were doing. Only she didn't say a word so when I looked up from the remote she was standing right next to me. I jumped so high and completely on top of my sister. We laughed for probably 5 minutes... Random. But one of those funny times in life. Tuesday - more lounging around. Shannon laid in the sun, my mom and I sat in the shade. :)

We flew back to MN Tuesday night. I left early Wed morning to get back to WI and see my boys... I missed Josh, Jim, and Hilo immensely. Josh continues to get closer and closer to walking. The transition to the 1-2 yr old room at daycare went really well and he loves his new teachers. My favorite part - he gets a 2 hour solid nap every day. Something that NEVER happened before. He is just to noisy... and if there is any noise - he wants to be there to see what is going on.

The rest of the week we relaxed even more. We went garage sale-ing and I bought a Trek road bike for $60. Pretty excited about that and so is Jim because it is way cheaper than the $500 bike I was looking at. We went to our friends house to partake in the 3rd annual Beer Decathalon. Once again - another good turnout and another year of fun. Josh had a riot playing with all the boys and his friend Ella. He was so dirty by the end of the day... 6 hours outside and there wasn't a single part of his shirt that was still white. BOYS!
Sunday night we grilled out. And this was Josh's first experience with corn on the cob. He is doing this thing lately where when he wants something he gets really excited and kicks his feet and flails his arms and makes some weird noise. He does this with more enthusiasm as this "something" gets closer to him. If you turn away... instant tears/screams of protest. Turn back toward him... instant flailing and grins... turn away... tears/screams... turn back... more flailing. You get the idea. So Jim and I are sitting at dinner eating corn and Josh began his flailing. After having a few rows myself... I handed the ear of corn to him and to my surprise, he actually was able to bite off an entire row. I didn't dare take it away from him at this point. Oh Nanna Lu Lu... make sure you have extra corn on the cob for Josh... I have a feeling he is going to be your biggest threat. My mom (Nanna Lu Lu as we call her) will easily eat 5 ears of corn if they are available...
So a one year old eating corn on the cob... didn't expect that.