Monday, December 17, 2007

Flower Girl Preparations!

Jason and Tracie -- look out! Your future flower girl has picked out her outfit for your wedding. Do you love it?! Julia was very proud of the outfit she pulled together. It consisted of a couple dance leotards, tutus, gloves, and a ribbon crown. Later in the evening, she added 3 more leotards/tutus and her ballerina slippers. It was a sight to behold! What a fun spirit she has...if only we all had the confidence to pull off such an ensemble!
As I think back, Julia had a lot of "pink" in her weekend. Let me explain another pink incident... We read her the Dr. Seuss story "Bartholomew and the Oobleck" for a Saturday night bedtime book. While I was making some Christmas candies, I noticed a recipe for oobleck in my Family Cookbook. This got me pretty excited, so I told Julia all about it after we got home from church on Sunday. What a fun (yet messy) experience! Of course, Julia decided her oobleck had to be pink, instead of green like Dr. Seuss.
Check out the oobleck dripping from Julia's fingers! She must have stood on her stepstool playing with this stuff for 30-45 minutes! Overall, I'm awfully proud of myself for coming up with such a fun activity - pretty good, wouldn't you say?! HA!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Crawling? We show the video, you decide.

For at least a month now, Finn has been pushing himself up on all fours. He then starts to rock back and forth like he's getting ready to start crawling. But instead of crawling, he usually just lays flat and pulls himself around on his belly using his arms. He's also gotten quite adept at sitting himself up from various positions. Below is a video where he may be taking some of his first "crawling steps" - you be the judge. Also, there's a quick shot of Julia at the table in her Snow White dress and having a snack.

Click here for a link to the video.

Julia's been doing great too. Sometimes though, a few minutes after being put to bed, she'll fuss and complain about her legs hurting. We're not quite sure if it's a way to get attention or if she's got a case of The Seavers. Otherwise, she's enjoying pre-school and her daycare friends and she really likes seeing Christmas decorations. Here she is after her dance recital hugging a snowman decoration that she saw.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as we did this year. The kids seemed to enjoy their holiday, so that means that Torey and I did as well! Funny how that works!

Just as many of us tend to contemplate what we're thankful for at this time of year, I did some reflecting on this subject as well. When I asked Julia what she's thankful for throughout our travels, the first answer I got was "pink and princesses," then "Mommy and Daddy and Finny," and then "Finny Binny." It's great to see her realizing all that she is thankful for. Overall, I came up with "I'm thankful for the joyful little moments in life." Here are a few pictures from our Thanksgiving vacation that demonstrate what I mean:

Observing Julia laughing, playing, and strengthening her bond with my cousin, Alexis.
Watching Grandma Ruth's face light up while snuggling Finn!
Appreciating the relationship that Julia has with her uncle/godfather and future aunt.Listening to giggles between Finn and Grandma Phyllis.Studying the concentration that puzzle-lovers commit to the task at hand.
And let me tell you, the list goes on! Thank you to everyone who helps to bring those joyful moments into our lives...

I also wanted to share with you the recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Pie that I made for the Thanksgiving meal at my parents' house. It survived the road trip, tasted yummy, and was pretty easy to prepare too!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Up Close and Personal Friday!

She may appear large, but she's only three!

Here are the kids, snuggling together on the couch. Having happy kids sure is great!

Finn has been eating a lot lately! He'll snarf down a a whole container of 2nds baby food and barely blink. And this one time, last Spring, he grabbed my Arby's Beef 'n Cheddar sandwich right out of my hand and took a big ol' bit out of it! Yeah, I know, the one with the onion bun! Er...maybe that last part isn't quite true...considering last Spring Finn was hanging out here, next to his sister:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Insulted by a Three Year Old

After we finished reading Julia her bedtime books this evening and were saying goodnight, Julia said "Goodnight cute Mommy". So I asked her, "Well, what am I?" I realized this was slightly dangerous - who knows what a three year old might say. I figured (or maybe foolishly hoped) that she would get stuck on one thing, like little kids are prone to do, and just stay with "cute". That's an adjective I can handle. But no. She replied with a smirk: "Goodnight big, stinky Daddy."

I didn't take offense to it because I knew it wasn't true. The proof is below. As you can see, if I was stinky, Julia wouldn't be sitting so close to me. Plus, there aren't any visible stink lines.

Just to make things fair - here's a picture of the other two people in my family (also no stink lines (We do bathe regularly!)):

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

6 Month Statistics!

Today we had Finn's 6th month doctor appointment. His stats were as follows:

Weight: 16 lbs 10 oz (45th percentile)
Height: 27 in (75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 43.5 cm (50th percentile)

In comparison, Julia's 6th month stats were:

Weight: 17 lbs 5 oz (87th percentile)
Height: 27.5 in (97th percentile)
Head Circumference: 42.5 cm (50th percentile)

Finn cried a little while he was getting three different shots, but was happy again right after they were done - due, in part, to his sister. While Finn was getting his shots, Julia was singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" to him. He always calms down when she does that. It was especially cute because she kept singing it as we were leaving and the nurses all smiled. She even kept it up through the waiting area and made most of those people grin too. She'll never realize that she very well may have brightened someone's day who wasn't feeling very well.

Here is Finn from a few weeks ago with Grandma Colleen and Grandpa Dayton.

P.S. Finn popped out his first tooth yesterday! It looks like this: __

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween is Spooktacular!

As you can see, we had two Care Bears residing at our house this Halloween. Julia was Funshine Bear and Finn was Bedtime Bear (Julia calls them "Sunshine Bear" and "Sleepy Bear," respectively).

Below, Julia is talking on the phone after getting ready to go out trick-or-treating. While talking to him, Julia sang Uncle Jason the Care Bear song, just in case he didn't believe that she really liked them.

Julia had fun walking around our neighborhood trick-or-treating. However, she did not like anyone wearing a mask. And by "not like" I mean "would nearly break down crying out of fright". But her courage prevailed and she came home with a nice bucketful of treats.
Be sure to read the title again - it contains the best pun ever.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Julia takes things into her own hands...

Julia decided that she wanted to feed her brother supper earlier tonight. It was super cute! Finn smiled each time she put a spoonful of baby cereal into his mouth. Then Julia commented, "I'm feeding Finn! Now it's in his belly!" Enjoy the picture...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Up Close and Personal Wednesday!

Julia likes getting close up pictures of herself now you get to see 'em. Don't worry, I'll add some other stuff too.

Here's a movie of Finn taking his first bath in the little blue tub. Before this he always bathed in the kitchen sink. Compare Finn's mood to Julia's first bath in this tub - hers consisted of a lot of screaming. Yeah, it's a little dark.

Click here to open the video in a new window.

Here's a brighter shot of the same scene. Julia insisted on trying it out, for the sake of nostalgia.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

When did she become naughty?

Maybe she's paying us back for never being a climber when she was little... She was supposed to be washing her hands after going to the bathroom. I went to check on her and found this:
And here's a few pictures of Finn, in case anyone would like to see him too. He's been rolling around a lot to try to get certain toys that he likes. He reaches and stretches for things that he wants. In the mornings, when he just wakes up, he's really smiley and happy - unlike child #1 who refuses to get out of bed... (Is she 3 or 13?)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I may be a bad blogger...

(considering: 9/29/07 to 10/10/07 without posting) but I'm still a great dad!

Here's Finn using his jumper. Just recently, he's been bouncing a little in it, rather than just spinning in circles.
Julia wanted to make me breakfast in bed. So she got everything out to make it...and she made a little mess. But it all worked out because she still got to bring me a heaping bowel of cereal after I climbed back into bed.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tough Love

NOTE: The following post is dripping with sarcasm.

There seems to be other babies who are meeting their milestones a little faster than Finn. Because we're good parents, that's not acceptable to us. We've developed a new outlook that requires some more effort on the part of Finn. If he succeeds, great, not only will he have accomplished something, but it'll build his self confidence - and it's never too early to start building self confidence. If he doesn't succeed...well, he's young, he'll have countless hours over the course of many days and weeks to keep practicing and to learn how to deal with failure. Below is a sequence of pictures to illustrate an example of how our new idea works. In this particular instance, Finn is being pressured encouraged to learn how to stand on his own.

Disclaimer: No babies were harmed or even upset during the making of this post.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Apple Fest 2007!

This is the third year now that we've gone to the Apple Festival at Circle K Orchard near River Falls. They have apple picking, great food, a petting zoo, and some extra games for the kids. Below are three pictures of Julia picking apples - the first from 2005 after just turning one, the second from 2006, when she was two, and the third one from yesterday, now three years old.

Finn wanted to get in on the apple picking action too.

Mandy and I got to pose with one child after we finished eating lunch (apple brats, buffalo burgers, corn on cob... Tasty!).

Julia really enjoyed going on a pony ride. When we left she waved a big good-bye to Bullet, the pony she rode on.

One of the games they had was one of those big air filled castles that kids can jump around in. Julia gave it a try and had fun. Here's a video of her experience. It's shot through mesh, so that's why it's a little funny looking.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

School has started!

I've been meaning to write about this for over a week now... I guess that really means school is back in session now and life has gotten even busier!

Julia's preschool career at Rocky Branch Elementary has officially begun! She seems to be enjoying her time at school so far. The first morning of school was a little hectic though. I decided to take the day off and not accept substitute teaching jobs for the day, so that I could see my little girl get on the school bus for the very first time. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? Well, while we were eating breakfast, we got a phone call telling us that we missed the bus! Nice. The bus garage evidently told us the incorrect time for pick-up in the morning. Julia was so excited to ride the bus to school, then we had to come up with a reason why it wasn't going to take her to school on her first day. Not to mention my disappointment in realizing that I wasn't going to see Julia climb on the bus or be able to take that memorable photograph of the momentous occasion. Everything worked out though, as it always does! Finn and I drove Julia to school and took a few pictures of her there.

Because we still wanted that coveted "first time riding the bus picture," Torey took Julia to daycare the next morning in order to see her board the bus. Pretty cute pictures! I still really want to see her do it sometime though. Guess that's just the Mommy wanting to see the first things her babies do! The pictures are good for now though. Hope you enjoy them too!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Sister, Attorney at Law

Ok, so it's not official until she gets sworn in, but my sister found out on Friday that she passed the Oregon State Bar exam! Here's the proof. Ember graduated from Willamette University College of Law with a J.D. in May and then took the bar exam in July. I'm extremely proud of her!

And, just in case anyone was hoping for a cute kid's one of Julia after we had gone to Art on the Kinni. The "J" on her face is the start of her name that she had painted on her cheek.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Princess Castle Camp Out!

For her birthday, Julia got a special pop-up princess castle. We told her that she could sleep in it some night in the living room. A few weekends ago we had an evening all planned out - I was going to sleep on the couch in the living room and Julia would sleep in her princess castle. But...the night before it was going to happen Julia had a number of major meltdowns and we threatened to not let her have her princess party the next night if she didn't shape up. The threat did not work and Julia found out it wasn't merely a threat. Fast forward to last weekend - we had been telling her that if she continued going to bed good that we could have the princess party in the living room. This time she came through and the party happened!
Besides just sleeping, Julia and I watched a very special princess movie that Julia had never seen: Beauty and the Beast. She got a little "nervous" (her word) a few times, but otherwise she thoroughly enjoyed herself, as did I. Mandy even made us a special treat of popcorn! Julia thought it was all very cool.
We both had a good night sleep, Julia in her princess castle and me on the couch.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Big boy food!

Finn had an exciting new experience after his nap today. We decided to have him taste some rice cereal! It didn't look like much more than a liquid - Julia thought that was pretty strange. She was VERY excited to help him out with his first "solid" meal. Finn did a pretty good job; we think he swallowed some of it! What do you think of Finn's new Bumbo chair?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Growing Fast!

Julia (and parents) are excited to see how grown up Finn is becoming. He is now able to play in Julia's old Exersaucer and really enjoys himself! He spins around in the chair and tries to play with the little toys. Very fun!

Julia and Finn both had their check-ups at the doctor yesterday. Happily, they are both continuing to grow as healthy children. Julia was excited to be part of the main focus again at a doctor's appointment. For the past year, she has been observing Mom at appointments to check on the progress of the pregnancy, then observing Finn get poked and prodded at his appointments. Julia has learned how to be a very well-mannered patient!

I'm sure that you're just dying to hear their stats! Here they are:

Julia surprised us with measurements of 39 1/2 pounds and 39 1/2 inches! That's an increase of 4 1/2 pounds and 3 3/4 inches over the course of one year. She continues to hold her status in the 97th and 95th percentiles!

Finn weighed in at an impressive 13 pounds 12 ounces and 25 inches! Over the past 2 months, he grew 1 1/2 pounds and 1 inch. That's a lot of growing! Interestingly, when Finn was born he was above the 95th percentile on the charts; however, his weight and height are now in the 30th and 50th percentiles respectively. Maybe his body misses all of the extra nutrition from inside Mom's belly and it's difficult to keep up with such a hefty stature in the outside world?!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Yesterday we decided to take a walk to the UWRF campus and have a picnic. In a few days students would start returning, but for now, the place was pretty dead. We walked along some of the trails behind campus that cross over the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River.
We ended up eating at some picnic tables outside of the new University Center. Afterwards, the kids wanted to look around a bit.

Finally, here's a video that Mandy shot of Finn jumping from one picnic table to another.