Sunday, September 28, 2014

Prost Mateys!

Seriously Mama? A little help?
It has been an absolutely crazy couple of weeks around here. I wouldn't even be able to figure out what happened if I couldn't look back at the photos to see what has all happened. Hopefully after you're through, you'll be able to excuse the time between posts. We've been so busy with living life that it's been hard to get the time to sit down and write about it all.

A little girl is starting to get to be a whole lot less little. At her six month checkup, she was 27 inches long and 16 pounds 7 ounces. For those keeping track, she's grown 6 inches and gained almost 10 pounds. If we didn't see her every day, we might not even realize that it's the same little girl except that she's still such an easy going baby. (Most of the time.) She now has two (!) teeth and enjoys playing with them. According to her pediatrician, she's doing well with hitting all of her milestones on track even though she hasn't quite mastered rolling over from her back....she can get totally rolled including her hips but hasn't figured out to move her arm and get her shoulders over yet. We're hoping that this means that we'll have an extra few weeks before she gets to cruising around crawling. I'm not sure exactly how we'll do with that. Our efforts to get the house ready for it have not been all that fruitful.
Chilling with ma froggie.

After a brief attempt to use just the big tub for bath time, we have returned to the baby tub. It's not because she wasn't fine with it - she was having too much fun with splashing. Mama and Daddy covered in water and a little girl super excited and unable to fall asleep is not exactly what we were looking to achieve with a bath as part of the bedtime routine. It is fun to see her excitement of discovery though. We'll just save it for those days when she gets a little extra messy earlier in the day and gets a bonus bath.
Tuckered out at the dog park

Seriously dog? 
Gretl has been a bit of a handful to say the least. She's getting bigger and is now probably in the 50 pound range. That, however, is not the problem. It seems that no matter how much time for fun and playing that she gets, we can't quite get the naughties out of her. We have managed to come up with a blend of oil, ground cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper that works reasonably well at convincing her to not chew on the woodwork in the kitchen (where she gets to chill out unless we can supervise her closely - this house has way too much woodwork for a teething puppy), but it didn't prevent us from coming home to a blue kitchen floor today after church. After calling poison control and the vet's office, we have at least been assured that the stuff is pretty much non-toxic. However, instead of getting to go to the dog park after church, she got a bath to remove all of the blue crap from her paws and muzzle. On the bright side, our doggie house guests Sadie and Buster have done a way better job of getting through to her that she's in trouble than we have. Buster decided that Gretl needed a timeout and has been barking at her any time she comes out of the corner. I'd feel bad for her except that I'm still annoyed that I had to spend a half an hour cleaning up blue gunk because she can't leave well enough alone.

Gruncle Craig and Grantie Julie were in town the other day, and we met with them as well as Nana and Papa to celebrate Charlie's birthday. No, we did not tell the folks at Texas Roadhouse that it was his birthday. He had threatened to stay home if we did, so we kept it low key. A little girl had a whole lot of fun chowing down on the bowl of pickle slices that the waitress was kind enough to bring. We're never too sure how much actually gets swallowed (some definitely does), but she sure has a lot of fun gnawing on them.

Visiting Great Grandpa.
Lately we have been making a much more focused effort at getting the little girl over to Great Grandpa's for visits. Both of them have so much fun when we do. We absolutely love that he is close enough that we can stop in a couple of times a week for short visits. The staff and other residents really enjoy our visits too. It's amazing how many smiles there are when she comes through the door. (For those with good memories, you may recognize the pink suit that she's got on in the picture. It's currently on it's second generation of little girls wearing it. It's been waiting at Grandma's house for 35 years now.)
Adding lemon to the list of favorites.
 Last week, the little girl and her mama got a chance to go for a ride on the La Crosse Queen paddle wheel riverboat cruise. Not too shabby for her first boat ride; it might set the standards a bit too high for all future rides though. We had a fabulous time visiting with Aunt Becky, and we gave a new food a try. (Lemons are a thumbs up. This leaves the rankings at Good: dill pickle and lemon OK: banana Not fit for human eating: Cheerios. Cheerios are a fantastic toy to throw on the floor for the dog though, so at least they have redeeming value for her.) After we were done, we stopped at the Pearl Ice Cream shop as well as Pearl Street Books. Downtown La Crosse has so many things to do!

Torchlight Parade!!
 Last but not least, the last few days, we have gotten our "fest" on with the La Crosse Oktoberfest fun. Thursday evening, we walked down to the north side downtown for a little girl's first Torchlight Parade and see how she would do with the noise of marching bands and such. Luckily for us, she loved it. The parade was fantastic as always, and it was a lot of fun to see the marching bands (and other floats) all lit up and everyone having a good time.

Mapleleaf Parade!!
The parade went a little too long...
The little girl also got to experience her first Mapleleaf Parade. For those unfamiliar with the event, it's the largest fall parade in the nation (a bigger parade than even the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade although without the giant inflatable stuff). It's also the only parade that I've ever heard of people turning into a full day tailgating event. We got a bit of a late start, but we still had a couple of hours of pre-parade festivities and visiting with friends and family along the route. It was a pretty long day though, and a couple of hours in (and just a few minutes after the Onalaska Marching Hilltoppers went past), it was finally time for a nap before we made the trek back to the house.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


There have been a couple of "I'm a bad parent!" moments as a certain little girl starts growing up and exploring her world. I expect that more will come as she becomes more and more mobile. Most recently I was cleaning while she was bouncing excitedly in her Johnny Jump Up that hangs in the hallway door frame. She loves it. She also got a little carried away Ok, she got a lot carried away and bonked her head on the door frame. I didn't think that she'd be able to swing that far; she couldn't only a day earlier! As I sat on the floor snuggling a sobbing and hysterical little girl to reassure her that she was safe (no bump or bruise - just scared), I started to get scolded by the guilt voice in my head for not doing a good enough job of protecting her from all the things that might hurt her. (That voice is even louder than a screaming baby!) I successfully argued it back reminding myself that this is going to happen. It's probably even supposed to happen as a part of growing up, exploring the world, learning new things, and growing as a person. The happy ending to the story is that after a snuggle the little girl was put back in the bouncy seat and went back to excitedly bouncing and learning how those feet work. I did adjust the height on the swing to account for her longer and stronger legs. 

In other news, our household grew by one more this last week - at least temporarily. Our niece has come to live with us for this school year which started Tuesday. Elska is thrilled as she absolutely adores her cousin. It's a little different to go from just having a baby to having an 11 year old in the house, but everyone is working to get the hang of it, and the upside is that I feel much more obligated to have healthy meals served at the table.

Finally, I've started a 90 day Mental Fitness Challenge. It's not easy, but I've wanted to do this for a while now, and I think that it will be awesome. If anyone would like to join me, I'd love it!