Monday, December 31, 2007

Wow, that's about all I can

Five posts in one sitting. Holy moly. This makes it six!!! But it's 11:45PM and I should be sleeping. I won't be so happy about six posts at six in the morning.

This is for Brophy

Tornados in Colorado

One named Lily that hit during the day...

One named Momma/Poppa that hit after bedtime...

It is beyond amazing how quickly the house can be destroyed by a two year old. Sure some of it isn't her fault, like Harrison's swing or the kitchen counter mess. But this little girl can create mess after mess after mess. We try to pick up one toy before getting another out to play but today that didn't happen. After the hard work to clean up I won't let it get that messy for a long time. Plus the in-laws are coming to visit so a clean house is a must!

Random pictures

Harrison enjoying his bumbo chair (on the floor of course!!)

Here is Lily getting ready for gymnastics. My friend, Amie, made the leg warmers. Lily received a lot of comments that day in class.

I decided to do cloth diapers and couldn't be happier. We use bum genius 2.0, a pocket diaper. It's really easy to use, just like a disposable diaper. Besides washing I have an extra step to put the liner inside the diaper but it's not too much work. Harrison likes them...

Our beautiful boy.

Lily playing dress up.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas 2007

Santa came to our house...

Santa brought Lily a microphone to encourage one of her favorite activities--singing!

Harrison slept through gift opening but was all smiles afterwards.
Like father...

Like daughter...

Friday, December 21, 2007


Our big boy is 4 months!!! Harrison is a laughing (see below!), rolling 4 month old. He is 16lbs, 9 oz. and 25 inches long. He is our snuggle, cuddle bug.


Hanging out

Bathing in Grandma's sink with cousin Connor

Family on Thanksgiving

Harrison and Lily on Thanksgiving

Snugglebug and his momma

Big sis teaching Harrison all about the hippo toy

Old video

I know this is a bit late, okay, a lot late but better late than never.

Friday, December 14, 2007

We are blessed

with a new niece...
Camren Rae was born this morning at 8:12AM (central)
6 lbs., 6 oz.
18.5 inches long
Little sister to Connor

She entered the world screaming and crying which the whole family was waiting for. I haven't met you yet but I love you very much.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A little bit of everything

We had a fantastic weekend.

Saturday morning Lily had her 2nd gymnastics class. Randy participated with her this time. I was quite impressed with her ability to walk side by side on the balance beam. The class is very laid back in terms of actual gymnastics moves. Most of the time the kids go from station to station, doing differnt activities like the trampoline, climbing a little ladder, going through tunnels, etc. Lily always avoids the tunnels. The last few minutes is free time. Lily spends it playing with plastic balls and a hula hoop. Harrison and I watched from the stands. All the action and sounds kept him content the entire time.

During the class it hit me and I had to laugh. Randy playing with our daughter, doing gymnastics, early on a Saturday morning. We've come a long way from 3 story beer bongs, quarter you call it Wednesday nights at the Airliner, and 3 floor parties that were advertised in chalk around campus. Yes, the 3 floor beer bong went from Randy's apartment down to his buddies on the bottom floor. Lots of stories, laughs, and puking. :) Not by me of course.

I used to imagine what our family would be. I would day dream about how many kids we would have. Would we have boys/girls/mix of both. What their names would be, etc. Now it's happening. Our family is here and I love it. I'm living what I always dreamt about. I couldn't be happier with our family. Randy is the man of my dreams and we created 2 beautiful kids together. I am very lucky. And thankful.

Back to our weekend...
After gymnastics we hosted a play date with my co workers. There were 8 females and 8 babies and one male...Randy. Poor guy. He was such a help I don't know what I would have done without him. He waited on everyone getting them drinks and pizza. He played with the kids and took pictures. Lily did well sharing her toys, although I removed the ones I felt she might have the most issue with sharing. Lily and a 5 year old boy made Christmas ornaments while the babies crawled around or just sat there (4 are currently immobile). We all had a great time.

Saturday night the rock band got together. Rock band includes our friends, Ted, Kristy and Money (i.e. Eric). We warmed up with a couple board games and then got down to business. Someone plays drums, someone sings, someone plays guitar and another plays bass. We jammed hard, that's about all I can say.

Sunday morning Lily treated us to 45 extra minutes of sleep. After a big breakfast Joy and Payton babysat while Randy and I went holiday shopping. For the 2nd year in a row Randy and I are not buying for each other but we "adopted" a foster child. We also picked 2 names off a Christmas tree so Lily and Harrison could buy gifts for other kids. Our Christmas shopping is done with the exception of one gift certificate and one present we have to order. That feels good! I wish I could say my Christmas cards were finished.

Sunday evening we returned the favor to Joy and Bobby and watched their kids. They are old enough to be alone but they enjoy our company and we enjoy theirs. The evening was filled with more rock band, homework and Lily and Harrison baths. After Joy and Bobby picked up the kids Randy and I played rock band together. :)

Bath time is now fun. Before it was hard to find the energy to bath Lily and later bath Harrison. Now we bath them together and they both love it. Lily helps by pouring water on Harrison (thankfully not in his face) and will also help soap him up. Harrison has the so cold-so cold-so cold look on his face when he first touches the water but when he sees Lily he lights up. He smiles the whole time they are in the bath. I love it because it's quick and relatively easy.

The dairy issue...
Lily was re-tested for her milk allergy. Quick recap--developed hive on lip, twice, after having cheese. Diagnosed at one year old for having a milk allergy. Doc said give soy milk but occasionally try something with dairy baked in it. We tried, twice, but Lily threw up both times. We avoided dairy completely for almost a whole year. A year later her blood test was negative for a milk allergy. Yay!!! But...her skin still reacted to milk so we are planning a milk challenge test. The allergist feels she has a 10-20% chance of reacting so we will see how much dairy she can handle before reacting and what kind of reaction it might be. The appointment, unfortunately, isn't until Feb. so we remain dairy free until then. Still very exciting!!!!

Just in time for Lily to become allergy free (fingers crossed) Harrison might be reacting to my dairy intake. When I asked a couple posts ago for suggestions about Harrison's stuffy nose, Emily, a friend of Staci's, had the same issue with her son. She stopped drinking dairy and soy and her son's stuffiness cleared up. I have to admit I was a little bummed to think my dairy intake was affecting Harrison. Especially because I breast fed Lily for 13 months and she never reacted to my dairy intake. I have reduced my dairy intake over the past 4 days and his stuffiness is improved. Still there but not as bad. It's not hard to limit dairy because our house is filled with Lactaid and soy products but I never had to watch every little thing I ate before. If it's to blame for Harrison's stuffiness than it's worth it.

Well this post was long and filled with random things. But at least I posted.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ahhhh...two years old.

Last night while preparing supper Lily wanted to get into the refrigerator. When she is allowed to stand in front of the open refrigerator she will say "I want cheese" or "I want milk" or "I want this." Of course she wants it immediately (we're working on patience, it's NOT easy). In order for me to finish supper I asked her to shut the fridge door and when she wouldn't I shut it. This led to a huge crying fit while she stood staring at the fridge door. I decided to let her be for a few minutes and when she realized staring at the fridge door while fake crying didn't get a response from me she followed me around the kitchen still fake crying. Finally I took her to the couch and sat her down. I asked her if she knew why she was crying. She thought about it for a few seconds and really sadly said "No."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Stuffy nose suggestions????

I don't usually elicit advice but I'm all ears. I need suggestions for a baby with a stuffy nose. We have a warm mist humidifer, saline drops, nose sucker, and we elevate his bed.

Harrison will start off the night just fine but come 3AM he gets stuffy and sometimes so stuffy he wakes up from it. He can't take a pacifier and eating is difficult because he can't breathe. I typically put a few drops in his nose before bed and then at 3AM I use more drops and try to suck out as much snot as possible. Most babies hate it but Harrison smiles afterwards, happy to breathe again.

This has been going on 2-3 weeks now and poor baby needs some relief.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Griswald Christmas

I complained to Randy that our usual Christmas tree purchase is b-o-r-i-n-g. Not like Nathaniel and Staci's tree buying ritual they are starting this year that includes hot cocoa (Randy and Lily can't drink anyway), hot dogs, bonfires and a family photo. How fun! Buying a Christmas tree at our local grocery store has never been exciting and now that I know fun tree farms exist I was even more annoyed when we pulled up to the grocery store. wasn't a dull experience after all.

Our front room has high ceilings and we have always wanted a tall tree. But we have never bought one due to the cost. Our max budget was $50 and that doesn't buy much any place other than the grocery store. I waited in the van with 2 sleeping kids while Randy evaluated the trees. He found some tall ones and they were only $43! Score. He went inside to pay but returned to the van to ask if I had $20 in cash. I hardly ever have cash on hand and he didn't explain why he needed it. I didn't think much of it other than it was a strange question. After Randy tied the tree down and we drove off he told me the grocery store clerk, who was working outside with the Christmas trees, offered Randy a chance to save a few bucks by slipping this guy $20 instead of paying the full price. Not only were we getting a tall Christmas tree but we would only pay $20! Score. But we didn't have $20 in cash. :( Randy thought it was better since we weren't ripping anyone off. I didn't feel the same way since I wasn't looking for the deal, it approached us. Anyhow we paid full price and brought our tall tree home.

Randy got the tree into our house and it barely fit into the tree stand. He proceeded to cut the twine and pulled down on the branches a little. That is when we discovered our "tall" tree was ginormous! Not only is it tall, probably 10 ft tall, but it's rather wide, taking up a great part of our front room.

Our Griswald tree also included free critters. Randy first noticed tiny bugs crawling around and I've discovered a stink bug and a lady bug. Of course we were happy to have a lady bug as a guest but a stink bug, no thanks. We're waiting for the squirrel to jump out but so far it hasn't happened.

Randy pointed out that we finally have a fun Christmas tree buying story and I have to agree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our Thanksgiving was really nice. We traveled back to SD/IA and saw both sides of the family. The day was busy but not overly rushed. We ate a lot of turkey and yummy side dishes and I had more for lunch today. I don't think I could ever get sick of turkey dinner.

Lily and Harrison traveled well. We purchased a portable DVD player on black Friday and it was wonderful on our return trip. Lily doesn't watch much TV but she zoned into Elmo and Horsey long enough for me to sit back in my seat. Harrison is really good. He enjoys playing a little bit or trying to grab a toy but otherwise he eats and sleeps during the car ride.

We celebrated Christmas with my family when we were in SD. It didn't really seem like Christmas but rather a night opening a ton of gifts. Lily took forever to open her gifts. Initially she wanted to color, then opened one gift and played with that for a while. It probably took 2 hours to open all her gifts.

Lily will start a toddler gymnastics class this weekend. It involves a parent and I think it will be fun to do with her. Anything to help rid her of toddler hyperactivity sounds good to me!

Randy is busy being a professional but in his down time he is working hard on his rock band. He loved playing guitar hero on his x-box 360 (see baby I don't always call it a Nintendo) and the day rock band came to stores he had to buy it. I have to admit I'm now addicted to guitar hero and gladly play the guitar and occasionally the drums in rock band but nooooooo way will I sing in front of anyone else. I like our friends and want to keep them.

Well that's it for now. Kind of boring but oh well. I have a few minutes before I leave work and that means one final bathroom break.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our girl

Lily is 2 years and 25 days old. The best adjectives to describe her are goofy, adorable, cute, and silly. Oh yeah, add loud too!

Lily loves to bake. She loves to sit in her booster chair and "help cook." This means she transfers flour from one bowl to another bowl via spoons or measuring cups. "Cooking" entertains her for at least 45 minutes and then she starts experimenting. I'm learning my lesson and need to monitor more closely when those 45minutes are up.

Lily's other favorite is coloring. "Poppa want to color?" is asked of Randy about 10 times a day. Her coloring style changes every few days. She likes to fill in circles or squares but other times will make little v's or diagonal lines. A favorite of her parents is mess free markers. They only produce color on a specific coloring book. They also have finger paints that work the same way. Lily liked those but once she started using it as lip gloss I took them away.

The weather has enabled us to enjoy some fall days outside. One specific playground had a wobbly bridge. At first Lily wanted me to carry her across it, then I had to hold her hand as we both crossed then. Then...she did it all by herself. To see her confidence grow was awesome. She was quite proud.

Lily loves her blankets, stuffed animals and dolls. She picks a favorite every few days. Right now she loves Harrison's blanket (my fault since I was washing her other two too close to bedtime), her baby doll we named Teddy (resembles our friend Ted in the hair department), and Harrison's stuffed animal lion. Thankfully he doesn't mind sharing yet.

Lily is quite a talker. Her verbal communication has improved significantly in recent months. Of course we occasionally rack our brains trying to figure out what she is saying. A few days ago I figured out that "alc" means "Alex" as in a boy from daycare. She kept asking "Where'd alc go?" It took a few times for her to repeat it and thankfully she didn't get upset every time I had her repeat it. Lily always says "good morning" to Harrison. Once when she was in his face he touched her with his hand and she thought that was so funny. Now everytime she talks to him she will put her face by his hand and when he makes the slightest move she says "baby got me!"

Last Saturday was a very eventful day in the land of toddlerville. Thirty minute nap + poor eating = cranky, miss crankerson. All I can say is that I'm thankful Randy was there. We took turns with discipling. I can't tell you how many times Lily went to time out but she started to enjoy it and didn't want to come out. A example of how the day went...when I asked her to help put bubbles in the bath, something she loves doing, she bursted into tears. A very long bath (only thing that calmed her) was followed by early bedtime. The next morning when Randy opened her door she stood on her bed and said "I had good night."

When I arrive at daycare her face lights up and she shouts "Momma!" and runs to hug me. When we pull into the drive way she asks "Poppa home?" When she is counting she always follows #4 with #9. Usually it goes "1,2,4,9,8" and if she's using her fingers she will throw a "rock on!" in there as well. She is learning her colors but typically will answer yellow to everything. She makes us laugh continuously. As Randy says every night when he gets home "I just want to squeeze her." When I ask for a hug and she says "okay" and runs across the room and puts her arms around my neck, well, it's the sweetest thing. We love you Lillers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Our boy

Harrison is now 12 weeks and 3 days old. The best words to describe him are chill and cuddly.

We figured out his schedule around week 6. He does best when he eats, plays for a bit, naps, wakes up and repeats all steps. He does get a tad fussy in the evening, right in time for Lily's bedtime. Randy and I make a great tag team and we take turns bouncing fussy boy while the other performs Lily's bedtime routine. Seriously, if Harrison is fussy-BOUNCE. It's all it takes.

Harrison loves to cuddle with us. He loves to sleep on us for his cat naps and for a long time he slept in bed with us at night. We moved him to his crib about 2 weeks ago. He hasn't perfected sleeping through the night, yet. He was waking to breast feed every 3 hours, even at night, until week 8. I bought a swaddle blanket (baby straight jacket) and positioner and wahlah that night he slept for 5 hours straight. The next night was 6 hours! Ever since he has gone between 4-7 hours stretches at night. Until...I returned to the office this past Monday. Lily and Harrison are teaming up and plotting to keep momma from sleeping. They decided last night it would be even more fun to keep poppa from sleeping too.

Harrison is smiling a lot. If you talk to him he will smile. And likely coo and talk back. Randy got the first belly laugh out of him last weekend. I've been acting like a fool trying for more but for now I'll settle for the heart melting smiles. He will go from serious face to this huge smile so fast. Occasionally he'll take his time and go from serious face, to the start of a little smile to a huge smile.

Harrison loves to watch his big sister. He is able to visually follow her more. When Lily talks to him he will smile in return. It's a wonderful thing to see-- when your children smile at each other. A few times Harrison started crying when Lily screamed (not in a naughty way but a toddler-wow-I-have-a-loud-voice sort of way. When he does cry he will stick out his bottom lip, way out, and then do a silent cry followed by a pretty loud cry. He's getting used to these random shoutings from big sis cuz it hasn't bothered in recently.

Harrison is only 3 months old but he has made a huge impact in our lives. He has enriched us and we are so lucky to have him. I love you buster brown.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Introducing Tinkerbell and her sidekick monster

Halloween dress up began approximately 2 weeks ago when Lily decided to wear her Tinkerbell shoes to daycare.

Last Sunday we took Tinkerbell and her blue monster to Boo at the Zoo...

We got good use out of her Tinkerbell costume. She wore it to daycare yesterday morning. Wings, head band and all.

Harrison took a quick break from his monster costume to join me at my work party. He was my prop.

Last night we went to Joy's house to practice trick or treating. Here is Tinkerbell and monster with their cousins Kelsey (punk girl), Payton (scary teenager), and Sydney (cotton candy).

Randy took Lily trick or treating around our neighborhood with Joy and the girls. She loved it. Lily would let Sydney and Kelsey ring the doorbell and get their candy and then she would walk up to the door, take a piece of candy and drop it into her bag. Her little nose was red from the chilly air but she had a great time. If we allowed her to eat candy all night she would have.

I stayed home with Harrison and in between trick or treaters I did a Halloween photo shoot with him.