Monday, May 31, 2010

Sneak Peek!

I hopped on Facebook this morning to see that two friends from high school had their babies over the weekend AND our friend, Brooke Fanning, posted 3 'sneak peek' photos of Mia from our photo shoot this weekend! I was super excited - they turned out SO cute, and I wanted to share!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Mia and Piglet

Mia got a stuffed Piglet at the Disney store outlet in WI Dells a couple of weeks ago and she LOVES it. She likes to suck on his ears and cuddle with him when she's tired! She's also recently discovered her feet - and she likes to show them off whenever possible!

We're looking forward to the big Memorial Day weekend - Daddy and Mia are already spending today together while I'm at work, but then we're looking forward to some family time together for 3 whole days! We are hoping to take family photos tomorrow night and we're planning a day trip to Stillwater for Sunday. Otherwise, I'm sure we'll be putting in some time on our backyard landscaping project and trying to spend as much time as possible outside in the sun! Enjoy the weekend friends - hopefully we'll have fun new family photos to post soon!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's official. She has a tooth!

Mia has a bottom tooth breaking through her gum! I have been monitoring things quite closely the past couple of weeks because she's been increasingly fussy and hard to put down at night. Last night I noticed something was kind of sharp when I stuck my finger in there, and after a closer inspection, which involved constantly pushing her tongue out of the way, I saw the break in the gum line where her tooth will push through! I'll try to get a picture once something is more visible, but for now, here is a cell phone pic that is very indicative of her mood lately!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Daddy's attempt to keep Mia in place

The baby keeps rolling from her back to her tummy and then getting stuck there - and upset! So David decided to wedge her monkey and her lion under each of her arms in an attempt to keep her in place. It didn't work. Here's hoping she learns how to roll from tummy to back SOON!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Backyard Project

We've officially been in our home for 5 YEARS now - amazing! Our first summer in the house was spent painting and putting in a perennial garden in the front yard (the house was surrounded by grass - there were no shrubs or plants, except for a huge hosta and an iris randomly placed in front). Since then, the front garden has been tweaked every summer (removing plants that didn't do so well, adding in lots of new ones, including a bunch from my family's farm in southern MN, and generally just watching the plants grow and start to really fill in the space).

The backyard had been neglected; with the exception of the fire pit that we put in, we really hadn't done much with it. It was also just grass up to the deck and garage - no shrubs, etc. There was a plot of rocks that used to have a picnic table on it (the table moved with the previous owners and the rock plot has now been overgrown with weeds and grass - to be tilled up this summer!). One year after moving in, we brought home our little chocolate lab puppy, Jonas, who grew into the enormous, fence-jumping, hole-digging, crazy dog that I've blogged about before. Jonas resides in the garage and backyard, but we, being the ignorant puppy parents that we were, decided to try to do some landscaping the first summer that we had him. We dug up alongside the side of the garage, laid weed tarp, planted a few hostas, and covered the area in mulch. It was all good until Jonas got too hot in July and decided the best place for shade was right alongside the garage, so he started to dig. And dig. He discovered that the weed tarp was really fun to rip up (it made a big mess as it pulled mulch and dirt up with it) and the hostas must have been pretty tasty because he annihilated all of them (or so we thought). We cleaned up the mess, but gave up any more landscaping for the rest of the summer.

The following summer we decided to tackle the project again - this time with river rock instead of mulch, thinking that at least he wouldn't be able to dig that up. To our surprise, one of the hostas survived his brutal attack and came back. We put in a cedar plank border and filled in the area with river rock, leaving the hosta in place, but adding in 2 big cedar planters, which we filled with annuals. We also dug up the area in front of our deck, added a cedar border, planted a couple of rose bushes, and filled it in with rock. Although Jonas seemed to leave everything alone, the rock became overrun with weeds (we hadn't laid weed tarp this time because we were afraid it would be too enticing for him...) and ant hills. The rose bushes didn't survive the winter. Last summer I dug up the pitiful rose bushes, planted Annabelle hydrangeas (white hydrangea shrubs, basically) and a random cranberry cottoneaster, which I'm still pretty skeptical about, and tried to keep the weeds down among the rock.

So, Jonas is now 4 years old, and although last summer we put up a tall chainlink kennel to keep him contained while we are gone (he kept jumping the fence and one particular neighbor didn't like that) our backyard is still a disaster. We decided this spring that our goal for the summer was to reclaim our backyard. We started by replacing the side door on our garage (the previous door was a weird homemade wood and metal contraption that was rotting away and had a chunk of plywood nailed over where the window had been because the window shattered a couple of years ago when the frame rotted out). Luckily we had help from David's dad to put in a nice, metal door, complete with frame, which makes a huge difference in the overall appearance of our backyard.

Our plan is fairly simple (see really rough schematic):

We had a large dirt patch in between the gate to the backyard and the dog kennel, which needed to replaced with something durable. I also wanted to put in a perennial garden - in front of the deck where I had planted the hydrangea bushes and cottoneaster among the rock. But we needed a plan for the rock - we didn't like what we had, but we didn't want all of the money we had already spent on it to go to waste. We headed to Home Depot and purchased some free-form rock pavers to act as stepping stones inside the gate. These will be placed inside the gate, in between the front fence and the front of the kennel to create an entry to the backyard. Then we will move the river rock from the side of the garage and the area in front of the deck to fill in around the pavers, creating an entrance. If we have enough rock, we're going to create a free-form path to the fire pit. The areas that currently have rock will be covered with mulch to create a softer appearance, and weed tarp will be used under EVERYTHING.

Not-quite-before photos (imagine a large patch of dirt as the actual before shot).

Rocks being added to the area in front of the gate.

A shot of the rock entry and the mulch side. There is a single fern here because we're leaving the front corner open just in case Jonas decides to dig here again (it's his fave spot in the heat).

We're not entirely sure how Jonas will do with the mulch yet, but since he is contained during most of the day, we're hoping it'll keep him out trouble and out of our landscaping! We've moved the big cedar planters up onto the deck and removed all of the cedar planking. The sole-surviving hosta is still alongside the garage, but will be joined by ferns that I obtained from the farm. Meanwhile, I've already started planting perennials among the shrubs in front of the deck.

Jonas hasn't bothered the mulch here yet, so here's hoping he's outgrown that bad behavior (granted, he has a humongous hole INSIDE his kennel, but I'm going to not dwell on that)!

I'll post more pictures as things progress, but that's what is keeping us busy on the weekends these days!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Missy's Bridal Shower

The girls took a road trip this weekend out to Wisconsin for my cousin, Missy's, bridal shower - it was just me, Mia, and grandma Karen. The hubby headed in the other direction to visit his brother's family in South Dakota - it was a long 2 days of being away from his baby girl! Meanwhile, the girls took the entire day on Saturday to drive to Wisconsin - we took some long breaks along the way to make sure that the baby didn't get too upset about being in her car seat for so long. This meant that we had a lot of shopping opportunities! We left the farm, made it into town to get grandma's car washed and then had to stop at an estate sale before we even hit the road! Grandma found a cool 1960s doll house for the grandbaby, so it was worth the stop! Then we stopped in Rochester for more shopping (Mia made a killing at Kohl's with grandma's 30% off coupon!) and lunch. Finally, we were ready to get back on the road and get to Wisconsin....but then we discovered the outlets at Wisconsin Dells...and Mia needed a break, so we fed and changed her and shopped again! We ended up making it out to uncle Ralph's in time for a late supper and some catching up with the family before Mia crashed.

Uncle Ralph got to meet Mia for the first time!

At the shower, Missy's friend's mom gave her a tablecloth made from pieces of her mom's wedding dress, which she'll be using at the wedding.

Unfortunately, Amelia fell asleep before we got a good shot of her in one of her new outfits (but it was cute!).

The ride back was supposed to be quicker (far less stops, but Mia did need to eat again once we got to the she got another dress for next summer - but it was only $5!!), but we did get stuck in some crazy road construction traffic which added an additional 1.5 hours of time in the car! All in all, it was a great weekend, and we're so excited for the big wedding and celebration next month! But we'll be sure to look up some alternate routes to avoid any road construction next time!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mia peed her crib...

Just a quick story - Amelia peed the bed (crib) for the first time last week! I went in to pick her up Friday morning (the same morning I found her migrating off of her activity mat...) and I realized (in slow motion, it seemed like) that her back was wet, and then I realized that I could feel her butt cheeks, which normally doesn't happen since her diaper is there. I set her down on her changing table and unzipped her pjs to see that she had managed to wiggle out of her diaper and pee all over herself and her crib! It was especially funny because David and I thought we'd heard her giggling to herself while we were laying in bed, prior to going in to check on her. She evidently thought it was pretty funny (or warm!)!

Friday, May 14, 2010

She's on the move!

No, she's not crawling! :) But I did put her in the middle of her activity mat last night only to come back into the living room to find her off of the mat and chewing on a nearby blanket!

She was pretty happy with herself.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Trying to work at home...

So I dropped the baby off at daycare and came back home to work since I'm just analyzing ELISA data (seriously, how many ways can you analyze the same data?? evidently many, as I am finding out) and writing a review article. Plus, it's cold and rainy out AGAIN and I decided that my mood was better suited to staying warm and dry today instead of trudging through the rain to get to campus.

That being said, my other 'babies' are providing plenty of distraction - just like they used to do pre-Amelia!

It's downpouring, but Jonas is refusing to go into his dry garage and is instead hanging out on the deck, where he can watch me work at my computer on the dining room table.

Meanwhile Syd is sprawled out on the table, and trying to play with me from the other side of the computer. Jeez! Can't a girl get anything done around here?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to me, late!

We had David's parents in town for the weekend, which meant David and Don were busy doing house projects all weekend, but the end result was a new side door on the garage, 2 new exterior lights, a functioning closet door hinge, and a semi-functioning weed whipper. It was a busy weekend, but it was fun to spend some time with them! On Mother's Day, I snapped a quick photo on my phone of Mia and I before heading out to Home Depot to purchase all of our flowers and the rest of the veggies and herbs for the garden. She was extra cute in her yellow flower hat! After the grandparents left, David and I spent the remainder of the afternoon mowing and planting, in between keeping Amelia entertained (she spent a good chunk of time in her stroller outside with us). We also picked up 3 Vikings onesies that we found for her on Craigslist (new, for only $8!), so she'll be ready for football this fall! It was a good day, and it was extra good to get all of the planting and mowing done before the rain moved in this week! Up next? We're separating for the weekend - Mia and I are off to Wisconsin for my cousin Missy's bridal shower and David is off to South Dakota to visit his brother's family. We'll definitely be looking forward to having a couple of weekends at home, just the three of us, after that!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Visit from Ted & Erin

Ted, Erin, and Lucas were in town from Kansas City, so we got together at our place last night, along with Laura and Gabe. Some cute photos of their son Lucas - he enjoyed chasing the kitty up and down the stairs - which meant that either Ted or Erin was constantly following up and down! Luckily we crashed early so the adults could hang out (plus baby Amelia, since she wasn't ready for bed yet!). It was great getting to catch up with them - and to have a preview of what life will be like with Mia in about a year and a half!

Friday, May 07, 2010

My view...

The hubby is making us lunch (grilled cheese), baby strapped to his front (shirtless, because he was CLEANING earlier), while I work on lectures in the dining room. Could you ask for a better view than that? Amelia was pretty content, too. We are two lucky girls!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Car Seat Photos

Here's a visual representation of Amelia's growth over the past 4 months - in her car seat for reference. She's SO big! 13 lbs. and 14 oz. at her checkup this week - that's almost twice as big as she was at birth!


1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

4 months old!

Mia turned 4 months old on Sunday, but we didn't get a chance to do a little photo shoot until last night (so I guess these are her 4 month + 1 day pictures!). Since she learned how to roll from her back to her tummy a couple of weeks ago, she's now learned that she can roll onto her side and stay there instead of getting stranded on her belly! She's giggling more for us - she's ticklish, especially in her armpits! She loves for us to sing to her - especially when Daddy sings the diaper song that he made up for her (still trying to catch it on camera for you!). She loves getting to stretch out and 'stand' on our laps and always wants to be held facing out so that she can watch everything that is going on (including watching the TV - she's fascinated by it already!). Everything goes into her mouth - she is constantly grabbing at clothing, washcloths, her hanging toys and stuffing them into her mouth. No teeth have broken the surface yet, but the constant chewing and drooling are a definite sign of things to come! Tonight she heads to the doctor for a checkup and another round of vaccinations - so sad to see her cry from the shots, but hopefully we can cheer her up quickly so that we can spend the beautiful evening outside together.