Thursday, September 29, 2005

Kids These Days


Why can't they just pull their pants up?

The Goose is in full swing with all of his new perties. Every morning he crawls up to the rockin' horse and pats it on the neck -- just as if it were a real pony. Then he climbs on and rocks like a little angel straight from heaven. But then there's the pre-nap time where that's not what he seems like. We're working through a little separation anxiety.

Yesterday I went early to Goose's school so that I could pay tuition and spy on him through the one-way window into his classroom. He was sitting on the floor right beside Warren, holding a teddy bear and patting Warren's leg. Then he lay down on the floor on top of the bear and Warren lay down beside him. It was too, too cute.

As soon as the door opens, Warren starts saying, "bye bye bye bye" and has been doing that for weeks. But just recently The Goose has started saying it. Especially when the Baby McDonald DVD is finished playing and it's time to move on to something else. Or when the phone rings.

I picked Goose up and said, "OK, say bye-bye to Warren." His teacher and Ms. Paula (the director) were standing there with us. He looked straight at Warren and said, "Bye-bye War." I didn't really believe my ears, but then Ms. Paula said, "Did he just say, 'bye-bye Warren'?" Yep.

Phew! I was worried because he had pretty much stopped saying anything at all ... he was on a roll for a while and then just stopped. Now he says bye-bye anytime we encourage it.

Yesterday The Dad of The Family made his famous, award-winning pasta sauce (I'm not kidding, he really won 3rd place in the Flagstaff Italian-American Club's annual pasta sauce cook-off). He used the sauce to make spaghetti last night and then today he made Hawaiian pizza (ham and pineapple -- yum, yum) and we all pigged out. Of course red-colored sauce always calls for pictures. You can click on the photo above to see us in all our marinara glory.

One other note: The pants in the picture above were purchased yesterday at a consignment store where I like to buy and sell baby stuff. It's a great deal: I take his old toys/clothes (ones that we're not keeping for posterity) and they sell them for me. I use the store credit to get him new stuff. Yesterday I scored these cool pants, some Stride-Rite shoes, and ... are you ready? ...

HIS HALLOWEEN COSTUME!

It is a full-body dog suit with black and tan fur. The hood of the suit is a dog head. We will be at Aunty Amy's for Halloween this year and The Goose will be trick-or-treating with Parker Blue, Aunty Amy's friend's daughter, who is about 3 weeks younger than him. Aunty Amy suggested that we use a Donnie and Marie Osmond theme, but The Goose vetoed that idea.

Otherwise, we are just business as usual around here, which is just fine with me if you know what I mean. We would like to send a shout-out to The Goose's big-boy buddy, Babybird, who is having a tear-duct procedure tomorrow. Good luck BB (and MB and DB)!

HINT: You can click on the underlined names above to see pictures and read about them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Horsin' Around


.

Not much time to write long descriptions about how The Goose is frantically trying to play with ALL of his new stuff (thanks again, everyone), but I have uploaded a few photos. Click on this horsey shot to see a few recent pictures of his antics.

p.s. The rocking horse was a gift from Great Grandma.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

PARTY!


Birthday Boy!

It was quite a bash! There were family, friends, cake, and chickens. First, the guests:

  • Mom & Dad
  • Grammy & Grampy
  • Macy & Grandaddy
  • Mira & John
  • The Holmgrens

Next, the CAKE:

PARTY!
As you can see, we used a soccer theme due to The Goose's obsession with his soccer ball. Do you see that unbelievable soccer ball cake??? Well here's the clencher: Grammy made it!

I don't have any pictures of the part of the party where the The Goose tore into the cake, OR the part where he chased the chickens around in the backyard (attempting to waylay them with his cart). The chicken chasing was probably the best part of the whole shabang. I'll post the details on that as soon as someone sends me a photo (hint to Grammy).

Even though we said, NO GIFTS PLEASE, there were, of course, gifts. Including, but not limited to ...

-A farm animal refrigerator magnet toy
-A singing elephant
-BOOKS!
-clothes

and ...

-The Bear
Grammy, Grampy, Goose, & Bear

Here's another one of him with The Bear:

A new BEAR!!!

Cool effects! This is called a multi-burst shot ... a recording of 16 frames in succession as a still image. For more pictures, click on any of the ones above.

So anyway, the party was fun, fun, fun! Thanks to everyone for the gifts and thoughts and work!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Fun with a Gate & a Weight Correction


First, I must report that the doctors' office scale was wrong and indeed the Goose is heavier than 20 pounds. He's a full 22 pounds, people! Get excited.

Second, this post will detail his new favote past time ... SWINGING from the gate that blocks the stairs. Here's how it works, according to The Goose Himself:

The first thing you should do is pull up on the gate and smile at mom. If you look really cute (see above), then she'll then open the gate so that you can proceed to step 1 ...

Climb up the first few stairs.

GATE SWINGIN'

Next, pull the gate closed:

GATE SWINGIN'

At this point, mom will peer over the gate and say, "Be careful."

GATE SWINGIN'

Then, launch yourself from the stairs while holding on to the top of the gate:

GATE SWINGIN'

Now, SWING!

GATE SWINGIN'

Then, DROP.

GATE SWINGIN'

Can you guess what's next?

GATE SWINGIN'

Start all over!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Little Red Wheelbarrow


Sing it to the tune of "Little Red Corvette" by Prince:

Little Red Wheelbarrow!
Baby you're much too fast!

Thanks to Aunty Amy & Uncy Todd for this cool birthday gift. There are more pictures of The Goose and his Dad if you clickety click.

Well who knew that working and trying to mother this child would be such an ordeal! Especially when one of us is ALWAYS sick with a cold. Now that I'm relatively over my cold, The Goose has now developed a runny nose with cough. Again. He went to school yesterday anyway, because if that's where he's getting these germs then he might as well go be a spreader just like the other little rugrats.

Yesterday when I went to pick him up he was in tears. I asked Ms. Sarah what was wrong and she said that he had a breakdown when Warren left. Best buds. I hope they never get in a fight because Warren has got 10 entire pounds on him. But that Goose is fast, so you never know. And speaking of weight ...

Tuesday was the 12-month checkup and here are the stats:

  • Head 47 cm
  • Height 29.5 in
  • Weight 20 lbs

But perhaps the biggest news is that while we were in the examining room waiting for the doctor, The Goose took FIVE STEPS! The Dad and I were cheering so loudly that the nurse came in to check on us. Not really, but we were happy! Yay for almost bipeds!

Not much other news to report. There's a birthday party this weekend, so stay tuned for more fun pictures!


Sunday, September 18, 2005

M&G B-D VISIT


Macy & Grandaddy left today after a fun birthday weekend visit. We shopped and ate out and played played played with all The Goose's new toys ... so far he has scored the following from friends and relatives:

  • clothes
  • a baseball/bat toy that screams "HOMERUN" if you hit it really hard and also sings fun ballpark songs
  • a steering wheel and dashboard that also sings fun songs (though it's way under pitch)
  • a pop-up toy thingy
  • a Minnesota Vikings football that sings!
  • a remote control car
  • some books ... including a new favorite: Sheep in a Jeep
  • a check from Great Grandma (whoa baby!)

Needless to say, he's just the slightest bit spoiled (this is all BEFORE the birthday party).

Even more!

More pictures are just a click away.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes of The Goose


Dear JEB,

Happy first birthday guy! I remember when we still counted your age in days, then weeks, then months, and now, the big "Y" word, YEARS! I have been spending this week thinking back about the time before we knew you. I mean, we knew some things about you before you were born ... like your squirmy nature and affinity for avocados and boiled eggs ... but on the whole, much about you was a big surprise: the boy parts, the hair, the not-much-sleeping schedule. How can it have been a whole year? At times it was really slow, and at times it flew. I think mostly it flew, because try as I may, I can’t ever remember a faster year.
FIRST BIRTHDAY

This first year has been a time of learning and watching. Watching you, of course, as you grew and did your firsts: smiling, rolling over, laughing, sitting up, crawling, bursting through the bottoms of your footy pajamas, etc., but also watching how you've affected those around you. Like your grandparents, who laugh and marvel at you, who worry and glow about you, who count the days until they can see you again. And the great grandparents, who nearly burst with pride when they see you, the fourth generation! And the perfect strangers, who first oohed and aahed over all of your hair and who now wave back as you hold out your hand, "Hile Hitler" style, in passing. And I'm sure all of the above groups have gotten a huge kick out of your dad and me, making our stumbling entrance onto the stage of parenthood.
FIRST BIRTHDAY

And you have watched and learned too. In fact, I think you could win some sort of Curiosity Award for all of your interest in everything around you -- airplanes, bugs, wheels, nuts & bolts, drawers, doors, rocks, coasters, VCRs, stuffed animals, CD players, the blinker in the car, balls, anything on TV, toilet paper rolls, measuring spoons, wrenches, toothpaste tubes, books, the list could go on and on. It is fascinating to watch you learn. You are a perfectionist (we have no idea where that came from). You practice skills over and over until you perfect them and then you look up, smile, and move on.

FIRST BIRTHDAY
Most of the time I was pregnant with you we were jobless and homeless, floating around amongst relatives who all had to endure my crying spells, incessant nesting, and heartburn. Between May and July of 2004 we moved from Flagstaff, AZ to Austin, TX, then to Milwaukee, WI, and then to St. Croix Falls, WI. But despite our instability, your Great Grandma Ellie (after whom you would've been named had you been a girl) kept saying to us, "Your luck will change as soon as the baby's born."

FIRST BIRTHDAY
Although we weren't jobless and homeless when you finally arrived (and by the way, why in the world did you keep us waiting for so long?!?!?), we didn't have a permanent home or job and were waiting to hear about the position that your dad has now at Radnor Lake. When you were born, we were living on the border of Wisconsin and Minnesota where your dad was a National Park Ranger at the St. Croix Scenic Riverway (and I was a regular at the public library and the Holiday Inn swimming pool). Your dad had an interview scheduled for this job (a permanent job he had waited on for MONTHS) on the very day that you popped out, and so he had to reschedule it. Then, when you were less than 24 hours old, your dad left the hospital to go home and shower, and in the middle of his shower, he got the phone interview call ... so he interviewed for this job standing in the middle of our dining room with a towel around his waist, dripping water everywhere and soaking the floor. But he got the job! And then he started saying that your Indian name was going to be "Little No Worries." Your Great Grandma was right.

Dad's little buddy
Now, one year later, we still marvel at how incredibly lucky we are, although "no worries" may not be entirely true. We worry about you an awful lot, and mostly for no good reason, only those what-if kinds. OK, maybe "awful lot" is a titch understated, but there's no need to accentuate the obvious. I am only the teensiest bit neurotic about your health, and your grandmas and Auntie Amy may be just a little bit worse than me. So anyway, all that was just to say that you have brought us an incredible amount of luck and joy and love Love LOVE LOVE LOVE .

Bob & JEB have a moment
One year, three hospital visits, 12 months, 47 mommy meltdowns, 52 weeks, 150 lullabies, 365 days, 3,000 diapers, 525,600 minutes, or 1,000,000 kisses ... however you want to measure it, it's been quite a journey for us. It reminds me of a sappy song from the Broadway musical Rent called "Seasons of Love:"

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes,
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee,
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife?
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.
How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love.
Seasons of love.

Happy first birthday John Emmett!

Love,
Mama

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Our Apologies to 9-1-1


First of all, before I explain the title, let me just say that this little guy to the left is in school right now, which is where he got this picture taken last week (unbeknownst to us). The proof is 11 x 14 and if you want it then get yourself down to the bank and WIRE US SOME MONEY because we certainly cannot afford the pricey dicey photo packages that were printed on the cutesey slip of paper stuck down in the clear plastic bag with this gem. I think they must've gotten The Most Expensive Photographer In Nashville. He/she will be back in November to make some holiday photos and so we may splurge then even though this is pretty irrestible.

As some of you know, yesterday while I was at work, The Dad of this family coerced The Goose of this family into taking three teensy steps unaided! Then they practiced going DOWN stairs and lo and behold, it worked! Now JEB can not only go UP, but DOWN as well. Additionally, he walked all the way from the playroom into the kitchen holding onto only ONE of The Dad's hands. Wow. And speaking of WOW ... I was reading to him the other day about a little spider who is busy busy busy and we were counting the spider's legs and I said, "Eight legs! WOW!" And then Goose said, "Wow." So let's see, we have nouns (ball, butt, da-da, bob, book), verbs (go, annihilate -- I am not even kidding, he said "annihilate"), conjunctions (OK, so he's really saying "butt" not "but," but it's a homophone people, let me go with it), and now, interjections (wow). WOW!

So ... back to the title ...

This morning, when The Goose awakened at 7 a.m. sharp, I was eager to give him the opportunity to demonstrate his going-down-the-stairs skill. I put him at the top of the stairs and went down a few myself and started coaxing him. He was not interested, however, because he had gotten distracted by the phone which was sitting on the floor (this little distraction is an important detail for later in the story). He played with the phone a few minutes and then I cut him off. I placed him about three stairs from the bottom and he finally did show me and I was thoroughly impressed, of course.

On we go with our morning, busily preparing for school ... Bob's labelling everything and preparing sippy cups, Goose is eating cheerios, Dad is out and about at work, hiking a trail, interpreting wildlife, etc. Then the phone rings. It's the park secretary and she sounds excited: "ARE YOU OK?!?!?! THERE'S A POLICEMAN HERE AT THE OFFICE AND HE SAYS THERE WAS A 9-1-1 HANGUP CALL FROM YOUR HOUSE."

Oopsie. Sorry 'bout that! Just an innocent little accident.


MEANWHILE ...

The Dad has heard through the radio that the policeman is there and is SPRINTING down the "No Running Allowed" trail to get home and check on his brood. Maybe we shouldn't play with the phone anymore.

When The Dad showed up a few minutes later, we all laughed about it for a while and then I started thinking, "Why did the policeman go to the park office instead of my house?" Good thing it was not a real call! We'll have to check into this matter.

So that's about all the news from the Dirty Circus Tent. The Goose is still at school right now which is why I have time to write this excruciatingly detailed account of our day. After dropping him off I went and swam some laps in honor of his upcoming birthday ... swimming was pretty much all I did during those last days of pregnancy last year. I guess tomorrow I should take a dose of castor oil just for the sake of nostalgia, since that is how we finally coerced him outta the oven a full NINE DAYS after his due date. Hmmmm, on second thought, maybe not.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Early Birthday Present


For his birthday, The Goose's dad decided to get him a trike with a co-pilot option (read: handlebar on the back that a parent holds onto and steers out of the way of poison ivy clumps and/or steep cliffs leading to lakes full of leeches). But B has been around me entirely too long now, because he bought TWO and brought them both home and put them together so that we could decide which one was best after trial runs. I do this all the time with shoes! I love how I'm rubbing off.

And as a side note, I'm not sure where we got this humongous kid that promptly threw a leg over the seat and assumed the pedalling position, but I think that it's JEB in disguise. In case you can't tell, he's HUGE. Must be all that lasagna he's been eating. Yep, lasagna. But don't get a kiwi anywhere near his high chair tray unless you want trouble.

Anyway, back to the birthday present ...

While B was putting together the trikes, The Goose promptly claimed this particular screwdriver (see below) for his own and hasn't put it down since. I love his facial expression: "Leave me alone while I work on my wheels."
TRIKES R Us

He was VERY involved in the assembly process, just like any future mechanical engineer would be, of course.

We decided to keep the one in the picture above, because it's lower to the ground, has a longer wheel base, and is thus less tippy. However, upon further testing (outside on the blacktop), it has proven less than ideal. Despite its foot rests, which are for the sole purpose of resting little feet that aren't ready for pedalling yet, his feet still drag the ground and get caught up in the wheels. So, we're back to the drawing board. It's a good thing we started this shopping process a week before his actual birthday.

In the meantime, he's been pushing both of them around the house, crashing into walls and couches and screaming bloody murder whenever he gets into a position where he can't move it any farther (which, on average, is about every 2.5 seconds). Twice he's gotten stuck underneath one of them and he's crashed them into glasses of spillable liquids as well. Fun, fun, fun. (HINT: For his birthday, he wants a (transferrable) gift certificate for a maid and a day at the spa.)

Other than that, there's not a whole lot going on around here. We are trying to get him to walk, to no avail. He just is not interested. We are still doing two naps a day (notice the use of "we" -- ha ha) but are considering transitioning to one, since the two have started getting shorter and shorter. He typically sleeps from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. if you can believe such a thing. I still can't believe that I am finally sleeping uninterrupted. If you had told me that just a few months ago I would've called you a raging lunatic. All the cliches of parenthood are becoming so apparent to me now ... how time flies and how fast they change and how you can NEVER imagine your life as it was before they arrived. Attending movies? Dinner for two? Weekend road trips? GONE. It's not easy, but I wouldn't trade it for much of anything.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

End of the Week Update


We've had a week! Hopefully now everyone is getting better and the show can go on. I just uploaded a few photos of The Goose, so click the picture for more. Sorry about the red eyes ... my photoshop program is currently not acting right and I'm too impatient to hold on the phone for customer service.

Enjoy!

p.s. Guess who's turning ONE next week?!?!!?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

School: Part Two


Today The Goose returned to school after a week's hiatus due to his croup. He was back with a vengeance. Dad dropped him off since mom was on the couch being pitiful and sipping hot tea in an effort to nurse her sore throat and cold (presumably caught from The Goose himself).

Today there were only two students: JEB & Warren. When B went to pick him up, Goose made a bee-line for his pantsleg, laughing and demanding to be picked up and then he gave a big hug and a pat and turned around promptly to wave bye-bye to his teacher and Warren. B said it was a wave with a sneer like, "See ya later ... SUCKERS!" Upon seeing B, Warren said, "Da-Da." I guess The Goose had told him all about his cool dad.

Miss Sarah, the teacher, sent home her "Daily News" sheet which reported the following:

"John didn't eat much today. He ate only a few bites of food and wouldn't drink his milk or water."

That's it? She left an entire line and a half BLANK. If there were only two kids there, then she should've had time to at least write about how he's the most advanced kid in the class in terms of behavior, language development, and motor skills, right? The only other information on the sheet was that he napped from 10:45 - 12:45 p.m. (she could've written something during that time as well) and that he had two wet diapers and a "happy and playful" disposition. I'm trying not to be too harsh on Miss Sarah. I'm trying. Maybe she's just being fair ... as a teacher, you can't be over-zealous with praise. Yeah! That's it. I'm trying not to focus on the negative here.

After school, JEB came home and was very glad to hang out with mom and dad and play with his new puzzle (see picture above and click for another one). This puzzle has various shapes and each piece has a little wooden knob that he puts in his mouth and uses as a pacifier. The picture above shows the rectangle binkie, but his favorites are the red circle and triangle (they're not as bulky). He crawls around all over the house with one of them hanging out of his mouth at all times. I'm sure the wood was treated with some scary chemicals not intended for babies' mouths, but, again, I'm trying not to focus on the negative.

Not much other news to report. We're getting ready for a birthday celebration on the 24th of September (even though his real b/d is the 16th). I'm trying to make the invitations, which is the biggest mess in the history of Kimmy Craft Projects. I put his photo on the invites and then the glue I used bled through so that his face looked like it had a weird birthmark. Now I've got to re-do them, so don't expect a timely mail-out. One can only do so much and not be negative about it all.

Stay tuned! More positive attitude to come.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Reckless Driving


This afternoon I turned The Goose loose in the backyard with his cart. Lookout chickens! He popped some wheelies and investigated rocks and checked out the chicken wire on the coop. Look at those shoes! A size three! Or is it four? I can't remember. And also, he has moved up to size four diapers! When Dad changes his diapers, he always says, "Only big men wear fours." This is fascinating stuff, people! Get excited.

Another picture is just a click away.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

MONKEY


I'm sleeplessly sad about the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. I couldn't sleep last night after watching a Dateline special. I had to turn it off when they started a story about a family whose infant son was taken away from them to a hospital somewhere else for treatment, while they remained behind in the devastation. It's just too much. Thank goodness we have this bouncing little distraction around to help keep our minds off the disaster. Here are some udpates on his recent behavioral developments:

The almost-one-year old has recently morphed into a monkey. Can you say ...

CLIMBING???

ON EVERYTHING???

I can!

The picture above shows just one of his newest tricks. It's called Table Swing with Head Tilt.

Other recent tricks include ...

1. Taking a tee-niney step un-aided while Dad held a ball just out of reach.

2. Frequently crawling in circles around whoever is sitting on the floor in search of forbidden items. He learned that we hide things behind our backs and so now he does the crawl around checking method just to see what's there.

3. Ejecting tapes from the VCR and pushing them back in and ejecting them again AD INFINITUM.

4. Squats. We've moved on from upper body workouts with weights to a focus on the lower body. This involves standing up and then bouncing/squatting repeatedly. It's fun! Really! You should try it!

5. Dropping everything and then peering over the ___________ (fill in any number of things ... high chair, crib, bed, car seat) to see where it has landed. This is particularly fun to do at nap time. The bunny, the blanket, the teddy bears, they ALL go over the side of the crib. This provokes a screaming fit until someone comes to retrieve the fallen object and then the game begins again. The tricky part is that he has trouble settling down without these items, yet he throws them out. A conundrum for sure.

I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend despite the national tragedy. Tonight The Goose and I will be solo while dad goes to a minor league baseball game with the other rangers to show off the birds of prey and snakes. Fun, fun for everyone!

Lots of love to all from ...
The Geese

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Long time, no post


Sorry for the delay. I know the grandparents are having withdrawals. Three major issues have prevented my posting:

1. The Goose got croup but is recovering nicely. He did have to stay home from school yesterday and was disappointed. You can click on the photo to see more recent shots.

2. The fall semester has begun and I am teaching three nights a week. Busy, busy, busy!

3. The hurricane has had me worried about my family and friends and so I've been spending time trying to contact them instead of blogging. They are all OK but without power. The tragedy is so devastating. The Goose and I were going to make a trip down there this weekend for my 10-year class reunion, but it's just not possible under the circumstances.

Otherwise, thing are going well. I'll try to post more specific JEB info later today.